Training users on new systems might initially take a few hours, or perhaps a few days at most, but the results of this short-term retail solutions training effort can have a major impact on user adoption and the long-term success of your technology investment.
At Mi9 Retail, we recognize that retail solutions training users is a critical component of any new retail systems implementation because it ultimately impacts the overall return on technology investment. Our implementation and training methodologies are based on proven methodologies, and are supported by a strong project team that understands retail. Mi9 Retail offers different types of training that can be employed for various purposes. Many times, a mix of different training methods provides the best results.
Some of the types of training you might want to consider include:
Because many of our clients’ end users are geographically spread across multiple locations, one of the most common training methodologies is the train-the-trainer approach. This method is popular for store systems trainings such as Point of Sale and Clienteling because of its cost effectiveness, and speed to deploy, since after an initial group of trainers is trained, end users can be simultaneously trained in multiple locations. Selecting them as a trainer can be a great way to reward high performing team members and develop their leadership and coaching skills. One important element to consider is the time needed for the trainers to prepare and deliver training, as well as address follow-up questions. These professionals will need some extra time away from their day-to-day duties in order to be most effective.
When the group of end users is not very large and when they are in the same physical location, classroom style training can be an effective approach. Whether the training is held at your offices or at one of the Mi9 Retail offices, a trainer will customize the content according to your business processes. Trainees can follow along in a training environment that has been configured according to the retailer’s needs. These sessions are most effective when the groups have a low trainer to trainee ratio, therefore depending on the group size, more than one trainer may be needed.
To keep costs down, remote training sessions can often be effective. One of the first things to consider when evaluating whether remote training would be a good idea is the time needed for the training. We’ve found that remote trainings are best kept under 3 hours each, since trainees sometimes lose focus after many hours on the phone. Remote trainings don’t have the same level of 1:1 human interaction as classroom trainings, but for basic topics that can be covered in a short timeframe, they are an excellent way to keep costs down.
Video and Instructional Software
Video and guided instructional software can be great aids to any training curriculum. They are especially effective for applications designed for a mobile experience that are designed to be intuitive and require less training than heavily configurable enterprise solutions. Video and instructional software don’t typically replace a human trainer who can adapt to each business’ unique needs and address users’ questions, but they can be helpful tools in supporting trainers for ongoing skill development and refreshes.
Once initial training has taken place and users are adopting the new solutions in their day-to-day activities, it’s a great idea to perform periodic audits with solution specialists to ensure that users are getting the most out of the system. During a System Audit, the Mi9 Retail team performs an in-depth analysis of your current business processes, challenges and capabilities as well as an assessment of the current use of existing application functionality. Using this methodology, we look for opportunities to help make your processes more efficient, to institutionalize the best practices appropriate to your goals, and to make best use of your solutions. Along with our system assessment, we will recommend and provide customized training so that the users of your system can operate with maximum effectiveness. With decades of experience in retail, we are prepared to deliver not only functional training, but also conceptual and sales training, depending on the solution being implemented.
In summary, there are many types of training that can be employed to ensure that new users are comfortable adopting solutions and that experienced users continue to learn and maximize their use of the software. Enterprise software can often be complex, so it’s not unheard of for there to be features or settings that go unnoticed, even by the most experienced users. Training should be regarded as an ongoing activity: it’s not only for new users, and it should not end once a new system goes live.