An independent home improvement store’s success is dependent on its employees, who can differentiate a local business from the big boxes with the excellent customer service they provide.
However, customer service is an increasing focus for the big boxes, and they’re getting better at it. Since 2008, The Home Depot has put in place an interconnected retail initiative and in fiscal 2014 achieved its target of dedicating 60 percent of store labor hours to “customer-facing” activities, according to Market Realist.
To combat the big boxes’ improving customer service, independent retailers must hire top-notch employees and train them to be knowledgeable resources. A focus on training will not only polish a store’s customer service but will also increase store sales.
The following data is from NRHA’s 2014 Employee Compensation Report and shows the percentage of independent home improvement retailers who have formal employee training programs. Other data comes from Experticity, a company that focuses on improving retail conversations through education and product experience. The Experticity numbers show the impact training can have on sales performance.
Applied to Retail: To combat customers’ growing satisfaction with the big boxes and online retailers, you need to implement a well-rounded training program in your store. On page 50, you will find a variety of tools that address hiring and retaining top-notch employees. Additional resources are available online, including an evaluation form, online training tools and a step-by-step guide for setting up a training program in your store. Visit TheRedT.com/1XWVF10 to read the story and find a complete list of links to these online resources.