Retailers can use Social Assessment to drive quality customer service interactions.
Constructive feedback is a critically important training tool for retailers, especially when it comes to driving the kinds of high-quality customer service interactions that win loyalty. With a modern feedback framework like Social Assessment, retailers can maximize the efficacy of feedback to help improve employee performance over time, developing key soft skills to ensure that every customer interaction is a positive one.
In today’s hyper-competitive, digitally disruptive, and increasingly e-commerce driven retail environment, consumers are more knowledgeable and empowered than ever and have a bevy of easily accessible retail options at their disposal. That makes positive customer service experiences more important than ever. Retail associates and other frontline support staff are the primary custodians of those kinds of experiences; they are a retailer’s beating heart and its most prominent brand ambassadors and their performance is what drives successful customer interactions.
Attitude and the right approach are key components of the kinds of positive interactions that win over customers—68% of consumers say it’s absolutely critical or very important to interact with a salesperson who understands their preferences or needs. In a recent study by the Retail Council of Canada, 31% of retailers interviewed indicated attitude is the greatest challenge with respect to employee retention, with 12% also citing interpersonal skills and 8% communication skills. That should make developing key soft skills a priority for any retailer.
A retail associate who is happy, gregarious, and well-informed can not only impress a customer but make them feel good about their retail experience. This intangible but important emotional bond creates a pleasurable brick-and-mortar shopping experience that “hooks” the consumer and keeps them coming back for more. The challenge, however, is that it’s often hard to measure the impact of training on soft skills development. That’s where Social Assessment can come in handy.
Social Assessment in retail
Social Assessment is a modern framework for feedback that leverages modern social learning and next-gen collaboration tools to enable regular, trusted feedback from experts across the organization on demonstrations of skill or competency.
It’s about iterative improvement; employees can use that feedback, delivered in a safe and trusted environment outside of real work interactions, to continually develop the kinds of soft skills that will help them drive superior customer service interactions. For instance, retailers can use video to instruct associates in performing certain tasks or rehearse scenarios. Retail employees can also use video to capture customer service moments, like a role-play showing their approach to dealing with a difficult-to-please customer. This video can then be provided to colleagues and mentors for feedback.
Managers can also leverage video to engage frontline staff around important coaching moments and to boost employee engagement by delivering timely praise for a job well-done. Here are some other ways you can use video for Social Assessment in the workplace.
Here are 7 more ways retailers can use Social Assessment.
- Process walkthroughs for new hires
- Product training and demonstrations
- Pep talks and high-fives to recognize positive employee behavior
- Coaching around inappropriate behaviors
- Reinforcing and propagating compliance training
- Capturing and share knowledge and experiences
- Role-playing customer scenarios (difficult customer, shoplifting, complicated return etc.)
Read our ebook “Social Assessment™: New Ways of Learning, A Modern Framework for Feedback” to learn more about Social Assessment and how to use it in the workplace.