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How to Train your Remote Retail Team

Live video shopping requires ongoing training and support for your remote retail team and is the key factor in forging meaningful customer relationships. Your customers interact with this team on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, and for them, they represent your brand.  

We have listed a few reasons as to why we think having a developed and well-trained retail team is so important to ensure success. But first, let’s cover some of the common challenges of remote training.

Want to hear first hand what live video selling is like? Check out our Spotlight Feature at Figaro Digital when we had a chat with our client, The Light Salon.

The challenges of remote training

Many of us have adapted to some form of remote activities whether that’s work, studying, workouts, doctor’s appointments and of course, video shopping. However, to virtual coach a retail team requires thought and a mix up in how you would normally train face-to-face.

Lack of face-to-face communication 

Training a team, and communicating in general, is much easier face-to-face. Technology mishaps and managing a team online makes it difficult to gauge how effective your training is. With many of us suffering from Zoom fatigue, it is important to keep your sessions engaging and meaningful.

Less role distinction

Deciding who takes the call is one of the most important aspects. If the retail expert is not the right person to take that particular customer, the transaction may not take place. However, with remote training, it is harder to know who to go to and why. This emphasises the importance of having a clear communication system and a confident team alongside you.  

Social distanced teams

Teams who are used to social interaction, such as customers and co-workers, may struggle with feelings of isolation. With group training, it is important for online group virtual sessions to take place, where they can participate and engage, both the customers and the retail experts. The social interaction of video commerce helps boost both their social needs.  

This is also reinforced by encouraging inclusivity, collaboration and interaction, making sure there is a common communication channel and the is a strong teamwork ethic.  

Motivating a team from a remote setting 

Retail training online seems much more removed, as you cannot see each other in person and it makes you lose touch with the reality of the work.  

It’s important to keep your team included in all the work that happens and keep a clear communication system.  

8 tips for training your remote retail team

It’s not all doom and gloom for remote retail training. If you follow these tips you can rest assured that your team will be equipped to deliver impeccable customer service regardless of challenges.

1. Deciding who takes the call

It is important who decides to take the calls as the retail experts are the image of your brand, and they carry the ethos with them. As a company, there needs to be an assessment to choose who is best suited for the role. It can be a dedicated retail team, customer service or outsourced video professionals.   

2. Matching

When it comes to live video shopping, it is suggested that the retail expert with the most experience, steps up to assist the most valuable customers.  

Identify your team’s strengths and weaknesses to make matching decisions. Those who are more of a specialist can assist customers with very particular queries. Whereas generalists can manage a broad range of customers.

3. Training and motivating the team

It is much harder to train and motivate a team remotely – compared to a physical store. The retail experts are able to see the products, touch the products, and properly sell them to the customer. However, with online retail, there are limitations to how the product can be demonstrated and sold.  

Alongside the praise and encouragement, it is also important to keep an open stream of communication between the team members, in order to address any queries. With your employees feeling comfortable to ask their team anything, it creates a good working environment and brand feel. And this translates on screen.  

4. Virtual appointments

Your remote retail team can easily navigate the virtual appointment booking system. At ConferWith, we highly recommend using Calendly’s Round Robin. Here’s a couple of reasons why:

  1. Optimize for availability. When a customer sends out an invite, they will see the pooled availability of all assigned team members. And if all team members are free, appointments will be allocated to members with the highest priority (this can be changed in admin settings).
  2. Optimize for equal distribution. If one team member has enough appointments already, their availability will remain hidden for the customer.

Most importantly, appointment setting allows you to plan resources to the demand of your customers. It paves the way for a frictionless and transparent service between the expert and consumer.

Related Topics: How To Train Your Retail Team On Video Calls 

5. Selling skills

Here we list a few skills that every virtual retail team member needs to ensure an effective and natural selling experience. 

Managing expectations

Within the virtual environment, retail teams must understand that there is a priority of serving the customers, efficiently and thoroughly. If the customers’ needs are not met, they are unlikely to return, or even make a purchase at all.  

With a company that has multiple calls and appointments within a certain time, it is also important that your team understand who to prioritise, if anyone, and what order to do it in – and who takes those calls. All in all, they must understand what the core responsibility of the virtual appointment entails – meeting customer needs, and this needs to be the priority.  

Listening

For customer service, listening is crucial. If your team cannot listen to what a customer has to say, or what they want out of a product or service, your team will have a hard time leaving the customer satisfied. 

Encouraging your employees to confirm what the customer has just asked or said, forces the employee to pay more attention to what the customer is therefore saying. It also shows the customer that you are listening, and your team take an interest in meeting their specific needs. 

Body language is also an important factor, combined with the friendliness and assertion of customer service. It gives the customer an open invitation to communicate with you openly and confidently.  

Storytelling

An umbrella term used to how well a product or service is conveyed to the customer. You need to be clear, concise whilst remaining authentic at heart. Use case studies, real customer examples and your honest opinion to breathe life into your storytelling. This is what transforms aggressive selling into an enjoyable and educating experience for all involved. 

6. Video Selling Skills 

Live video shopping will push your team out of their comfort zoneHowever, with plenty of practice (we highly recommend test calls), it will begin to feel very natural. 

Here are some key points to consider: 

Appropriate lighting and angles 

Whether your team are streaming one to one or one to many formats, maintaining a professional brand image is vital. It establishes trust and authenticity – no one wants to receive advice from a poorly lit room with a face they cannot see! 

Framing of yourself and any product you are selling 

Immersion is a powerful tool at your disposal and is what brings life to online shopping experiences. Encourage your team to immerse their surroundings with brand products

With the Confer With app, your team are equipped with sharing images, videos and product specifications all from your core inventory. 

Navigate through stock site seamlessly 

If a customer received inadequate service instore, it will deter them from making any future purchases. The same applies to live stream shopping too. Confer With integrates a shared virtual basket meaning your team members can seamlessly showcase a plethora of products based on recommendations and consumer needs. 

7. Product knowledge

81% of shoppers research products online before purchasing, meaning that to offer the best ultimate customer experience your team should be trained on product knowledge. From there you can recommend relevant products and build a basket that suits the customer needs.

 8. And finally, there’s always room for improvement

Building a remote retail team to deliver results takes time, patience and practice. Encourage confident team members to assist with onboarding and train colleagues in how to effectively deliver video selling. Ensure there’s frequent catch ups, especially in the early stages and before you know it your team will be equipped to serve an array of customers with ease.

Recap 

Here we have listed some useful ways for your company to utilise the workings of an remote retail team in a virtual environment.

It is important for your retail team to understand the products, the customers and the software they are using, for a combined result of success. This article has shown some ways in which this is possible and how to best optimise the people you have hired to benefit your brand and your working environment to it’s best possible standard.  

But most importantly, have fun! It is a new and exciting journey that’s happening in eCommerce and retail – customers are loving the aspect of video calls and quite rightly too!

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