When people ask you about anything pet-related, you have answers — because you’re the expert! When cats scratch the furniture, dog lunge on their leads, and picky pets don’t eat, you can take on just about any pet issue. Since you can’t be everywhere at once, you also lean on your employees to help. Unfortunately, the fast-paced nature of the retail environment limits your opportunities to nurture their expertise, even if you hire people who share your passion for animals.
Training and mentoring employees to be your expert ambassadors merely is good for business, conceivably in ways you might not expect:
- Enhanced customer service. When customers talk to someone well-versed in-store products and solutions, they feel helped, find what they need, and more likely to make a return visit.
- Increased sales: Investing $1,500 per employee on training correlates with 24% higher profit margins compared to companies that invest less, according to HR Magazine. Yes, this level of investment may not be practical for a retail business model. But it just goes to show that from the effort comes ROI and competitive advantage.
- Better job satisfaction: Good training is essential to employee retention. If employees feel successful at what they do, they’re more likely to stay. Yet 32% of retail workers say they had no formal training.
Pair new employees with a mentor: Create formal mentoring relationships between seasoned employees and new hires. While this is not a supervisory role, per se, the mentor should be a knowledgeable veteran who is able and willing to show a newbie the ropes, and how to sell pet products. When new hires have access to a sounding board and a source of helpful feedback, it can give them the confidence and support to grow into their jobs.
Run toward — not away from — delegation: People learn and grow by doing. To facilitate that and create a more engaged workforce, be willing to share some of the responsibilities of owning or managing a pet retail store. You can, for example, assemble an events and marketing team that does much of the heavy lifting to plan and promote in-store events and specials. Here are some great ideas your team can try right away to boost foot traffic to your pet supply shop. Strong employees will feel more engaged and invested in the success of the business.
Host an in-house expert series: You’re already embedded in the fabric of the local pet community. Tap your network and invite a vet, animal welfare leader or pet behavior specialist for an in-house seminar with your employees, one that takes place during the off-hours. How about a breakfast meeting that takes place 90 minutes before opening? While the staff munches on breakfast burritos, give the expert the floor to take on a core pet topic, followed by questions and discussion.
While helping your pet experts hone their skills, there’s an easy way to create fun, informative posts for all your social media channels. Get expert-level, shareable content from NutriSource Pet Foods, delivered right to your mailbox. Sign up for our informative pet articles and social media posts by visiting NutriSourcePromoMktg.com. Did we mention that it’s free?