A learning and development programme designed to help staff engage with customers has seen Birmingham-based ATS Euromaster scoop Personnel Today’s prestigious Award for Excellence in Learning & Development. A measurable impact was also realised on the company’s retail sales.
The nationwide fast-fit retailer beat-off stiff competition from finalists including Bradford District (NHS) Care Trust, Chorley Council and John Lewis. Judges praised the success of the training programme which has helped centre managers and technicians develop a consistent and professional way of serving retail customers.
Richard Ness, Management Development Manager at ATS Euromaster, says the new training programme impressed the judges as it was delivered with a more personal approach, without the need for PowerPoint presentations or workbooks.
“We invested in 16 Area Managers to deliver the training – providing them with the skills to really connect with their team in a whole new way,” says Ness. “In just ten weeks they had rolled out the training to 417 staff across 138 different centres.”
The training was designed to help staff interact with retail customers in a more conversational way. It focused on developing inter-personal skills through practical workshops delivered over a single day per week for three weeks.
“The Area Managers gave their teams the latitude to develop their own styles of interaction, ensuring they were effective, genuine and without the need for scripts. As a result they were comfortable taking part and really thrived on the training. It’s made them feel like they have an ‘edge’, simply by using a series of techniques to connect with customers and help ensure we always provide the best possible service,” he adds.
ATS Euromaster recorded a significant return on investment during the first three months of the project, with participating centres recording retail sales growth. In certain centres cash sales grew by as much as 31 per cent, with brake and exhaust business more than doubling.
The Learning & Development Team are currently evaluating new ways to build on the success of this programme, and follow-up training days are likely for 2011.
The award was presented to Irene Stark, Group Human Resources Director, Jane Mann, Group Head of Learning & Development and Richard Ness, Management Development Manager at the Park Lane Hilton on 30 November 2010, in front of an 800-strong audience.
For more information please visit: www.personneltodayaward.com
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