Learn why brands need feedback and the effect it has on their content
Good training content gives sales associates the information they need in order to be confident and have knowledgeable conversations with customers. This can help brands drive sell-through, but how do brands know what content sales associates truly need?
Content needs can differ greatly depending on location, market and the sales associate themselves. However, most brands create content as a “one size fits all” solution without first validating it with their end users. This lack of validation means brands are operating their retail sales enablement as a one-way street, the content is given to the sales associate but no feedback is sent back up the other way. Without this feedback, brands open themselves up to a number of risks that ultimately corrode their image, result in poor customer experience and dilute sales.
Often times there is a difference between what brands teach sales associates and what customers are asking sales staff.
Today's consumers are well informed, sophisticated and oftentimes already have some opinions about the products they are seeking out. Brands need to remain flexible and ensure that the retail sales associates that sell their products have the knowledge they need to address their customer's questions.
A brand may, for example, spend a large portion of its marketing budget informing customers that their jacket is guaranteed to keep them warm in sub-zero temperatures and create educational content for sales associates to drive that point home to hikers, campers and explorers. Customers, thanks to the marketing material, are already aware this brand sells some of the warmest jackets available before even stepping foot in-store. However, the majority of the questions from customers may end up being about the jacket's packability and weight. The majority of sales associates are unable to answer customers’ questions and many sales are lost at the final hurdle as customers turn their eyes to competitor brands that associates are more knowledgeable about thanks to their content that addressed all angles.
Fifty percent of shoppers seek advice when they enter a store and therefore it's paramount that brands do everything they can to ensure front-line sales associates are knowledgeable about their products. By seeking feedback on the content they produce a brand can tailor or update their content to educate sales associates on what customers are asking about, thus creating a better customer experience as a higher number of customers leave satisfied that their questions were answered.
Different people learn in different ways, and this is no different for sales associates. There are four different ways of learning:
This is commonly known as “VARK”.
Despite this, brands often create content centered around only a few of the aforementioned learning types.
While there are obvious limitations to educating sales staff kinesthetically through online learning, brands should aim to maximize the other three methods. Video content addresses the visual and auditory requirements however even this can be improved upon with improved audio equipment and video shooting techniques.
Where brands are likely to fall short is in the reading department. Eighty-five percent of all video content on Facebook is watched with no sound meaning subtitles have become more than just a nice add-on, they have become compulsory. While a small percentage of retail employees may be hearing impaired, the evidence is there that the majority of people enjoy reading subtitles along with their videos. Furthermore, sales associates are likely to watch a brand’s content while on a noisy shop floor unable to raise the volume meaning in order for a brand to get its message across they have to use subtitles and on-screen text.
Brands looking to take one step further can incorporate colored subtitles (similar to what can be found on short form, social media content) along with images to kill two birds (reading and visual) with one stone.
By using a digital retail sales enablement tool brands can ask for feedback from the sales associates going through their content and by catering to a variety of learning styles brands are more likely to see higher engagement scores and higher feedback scores.
Knowledgeable sales associates can increase sales by up to 23% - brands need associates to know everything about their product! When an associate has gaps in their knowledge it can lead to a decrease in sales and the brand can, in extreme cases, being to lose market share.
Brands can fix gaps in an associates knowledge in a couple of ways, first by making their material more engaging and in turn, increasing knowledge retention (associates are more likely to remember information if it's presented to them in a captivating way). Secondly, brands can seek feedback on the content they’re distributing to associates and implement that feedback where possible in current and future content.
As associates sell your product they’re likely to be faced with questions from customers of which they don’t know the answer. Additionally, as associates watch your content they may also come up with their own questions about the product.
A brand that uses a digital retail sales enablement platform with capabilities for gathering feedback puts itself in a position to be able to address associates’ concerns and questions. Taking this feedback on board brands are able to update or create new content that fills the gaps in the associates' knowledge and ultimately create more knowledgeable sales staff.
When brands establish a connection and listen to their sales associates, they start developing a relationship with them that makes them feel heard and that their opinions matter. This in turn creates loyalty and turns everyday sellers into advocates of the brands they represent, actively recommending them over other brands that they have no or little relationship with.
Gathering feedback on content is important for brands because it can help address the difference between what information they give sales associates about their product and what customers ask about the product. Filling this gap means customers are more likely to have an enjoyable and positive experience when they speak to sales associates about a product (due to the associate being more knowledgeable) and ultimately can help close a sale.
Additionally, seeking feedback can also help increase how much knowledge is transferred to sales associates as brands adopt their content to suit a wider variety of learning styles based on written and NPS-like feedback from sales associates.
Finally, being able to gather feedback can help plug gaps in an associate’s knowledge as brands update and produce content based off comments left for them by the sales staff.
Ultimately, being able to gather feedback can benefit brands through increased sell-through, improved customer experience and a higher number of brand advocates - associates passionate about your brand because they feel their voice has been listened to.
Myagi’s digital retail sales enablement platform allows sales associates to leave ratings as well as leave written feedback for brands on their content. This allows brands to continuously improve the product and brand training content they share, ensuring all retail sales associates, regardless of location, have the right knowledge at the right time. Furthermore, Myagi Services can help brands implement the feedback they’ve received and improve their content through their service offerings such as Platform Assistance, Ambassador Program and subtitles/translations.
To find out more about how Myagi or Myagi Services can help with your content, get in touch or click the green circle to chat with us.