The Importance of Training


We’ve all had it happen, right?  You roll your cart into the checkout line, place your groceries on the conveyor, and look up at your cashier only to realize that you’ve chosen the newbie line.  Now that intake of breath that just happened and the casual glance at your watch confirms what everyone thinks at this moment – I’m going to be here all day because new folks never know what they are doing.

It’s okay, that’s just human nature.  We assume that the newest employees are not nearly ready to be on stage in the lime light handling your valuable cargo.  And the terrible part is that you are probably right.

Which is why that is such a fantastic chance to set your business apart.  With a little planning and a lot of managerial panache, you can ensure that your customers never feel that way.


Well, the best part is that it isn’t all that hard.  Now you do have to commit to the process and invest a few dollars, but there isn’t anything necessarily complicated about executing on this.

Now we are going to assume that you’ve done a fantastic job in the hiring process (never fear, we’ll be discussing this in more detail later in the week).  Once you’ve found those choice front line associates that are going to amaze and delight, it’s time to ensure they are ready to rock at the moment of truth.

Here is your kick off list:

  • Make sure that your team member understands your expectations.  They have to know what you expect in terms of high energy, high touch, epically friendly service.  Be specific, model a great example, and emphasize the customer centric nature of the business.  It’s okay to be cover the basics:  Always be friendly, smile, thank your customer, and be respectful of your customer’s time.  Most employers neglect showing rather than telling what makes up friendly service.
  • Make sure they get a tour of their work area, the entire business space, and that you introduce them to their coworkers.
  • Let them role play with your more seasoned employees.  Practice makes permanent, so don’t let them develop any bad habits and have them repeat their job duties until they have it down cold.  We have a saying in the restaurant business – the first omelet your cook makes should never be for a paying customer.  Let them ask tons of questions and never make them feel stupid for being brave enough to do so.
  • Finally, allow them to shadow one of your aces so they can see how it is done properly.

I’m sure your reading this thinking “I can do that.”  Great!  That puts you so far ahead of the pack it’s ridiculous. 

Take the time to make sure your new associate understands your expectation, knows how to be friendly, and understands his job duties cold.  Remember, poorly trained employees give terrible customer service. . this is why so many businesses fail to deliver on their promise of great experiences.

I promise you that if you take the time and stay focused on great training, you’ll see your customer satisfaction soar!

Until next time,