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September 14, 2015
For Good Customer Relations, Training Is Basic
 
There’s a lot to learn about in a Container Store  – “750 types of office products, more than 300 food storage items and 70 styles of hangers and 50 types of hampers, among other things.”

That’s a lot to sell, but first, it’s a lot to become familiar with. Indeed, relational ties with customers are based heavily on how well Container Store employees know their stock.

That’s why new full-time Container Store employees receive “at least 266 hours of training” during their first year. And that sort of intensive training, premised on identification with customer needs, is smart.

The retail industry average for sales training, notes Suzette Parmley in The Philadelphia Inquirer, is only seven to 10 hours a year. There’s more about the advisability of a heavy regimen of employee training in Suzette’s piece. But the bottom line is that for employees to relate well to customers, they need to be trained well – very well. And not only at Container Stores.

Photo: Tom Mihalek, For The Inquirer

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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