It's no secret that effective, engaging training leads to improved results on the sales floor – but many businesses continue to struggle with what that training should actually look like.
There's mounting evidence that online, on-demand learning trumps traditional classroom fayre. For example, it's been suggested that e-learning requires 40-60% less employee time while offering knowledge retention rates of 25-60% (compared to just 8-10% for face-to-face training.) Companies who offer training resources to be accessed whenever required using platforms like Myagi, perhaps unsurprisingly, tend to yield better results than those for whom training is a one-time-thing.
And right at the cutting edge of this trend is video. This is hardly surprising, in an age dominated by the explosive growth in consumption and popularity of online video content.
We're all watching more video – whether it's at home, at work or in between – and it makes sense that this trend should filter into the way we learn. According to Forrester Research, employees are 75 percent more likely to watch a video than to read documents, emails or web articles.
Video is one of the world's most versatile media types, and businesses have a number of different styles to choose from.
Who could forget the appallingly cheesy scenario-based training videos of the 1980s and 1990s? These videos were valuable in the sense that they demonstrated real-life scenarios in relatable working environments, but they tended to be so toe-curlingly embarrassing and low-budget that they still inspire giggles today.
We've come a long way since then, of course! Many of today's businesses seek to impart product knowledge with filmed product demos which talk the viewer through key attributes and features – like the below example. These videos are designed to give sales associates the product knowledge they need to feel confident and assured in selling particular items – and can be produced really inexpensively, with professional-grade cameras incorporated into most modern smartphones.
And then, there's animated video. Once considered pretty much 'off limits' due to high prices and lack of in-house skills, animated content is becoming increasingly affordable and accessible.
This creates an enormous opportunity for businesses. Walt Disney famously said, “Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive,” and that rings truer today than ever.
Product knowledge is key, but, in the retail environment, behavioural patterns are every bit as important. Timing, wording, tone-of-voice – all are incredibly important in educating, converting and convincing a customer.
Animated video is so flexible that businesses are able to craft the perfect scenery, the perfect cast of characters, the perfect story arc – without having to close a store or hire a single actor. And that story is packaged inside a media type that's engaging, fun to watch, and enduringly popular.
Nikwax is an aftercare product for wet weather garments. Over time, these garments lose their water-resistance, usually due to the finish being worn away by abrasion or masked by contaminants like dirt and body oil. Nikwax is designed to help outdoor gear perform better, for longer – and is a smart way for the customer to protect their investment.
Nikwax enlisted Wyzowl to help create an animated video which was designed to boost sales associate understanding of when and how to bring up Nikwax during the sales process, and how to sell it as effectively as possible. Check it out by clicking the thumbnail below.
The video shows a sales associate selling Nikwax in a store environment. No actors, no stores, no awkward acting. Just a professionally recreated scenario which is fun and interesting to watch, while encouraging sales associates to focus on the behaviours and techniques that will help them sell the product as effectively as possible.
This example also uses product diagrams which can help demonstrate specifically how a product works in a way that wouldn't be possible by just holding it up to a camera.
Working with Myagi.com the leading retail learning network, Nikwax hosted and launched this module across two national outdoor retailers.
Myagi offers effortless content sharing directly to the hands of sales associates. Delivered in a fun and engaging way through their online app, Myagi help brands like Nikwax reach their brand advocates when and where it matters at the point of sale. The learner gets to enjoy the great content whilst learning useful bitesized skills to help them master the customer experience.
A comprehensive analytics suite keeps both retailer and brand informed of learning activity across the stores, from store team down to the individual- allowing critical metrics to be applied to skills development.
Moreover, with a built in option for learners to offer feedback on the content, it’s not only the sales associate that learns from this process! Here is some feedback that come to us via Myagi’s platform:
“Great idea by Nikwax,” wrote one learner. “Pop up challenges that can be transferred with ease to customer interactions.”
“It was a smart way of doing it,” wrote another. “A lot more interesting than some awkward man stood in front of a camera with a bottle. I think the results will show this is a more effective way of training, because it shows you the scenarios.”
As businesses continue to move towards e-learning and on-demand training, video forms a crucial part of this strategy. It can help educate and engage sales associates, which is proven to boost sales revenues.
There's also a substantial saving to be made on training costs. Training Mag's 2016 Training Industry Report suggested that the average training budget for large companies is $14.3m (£11.5m), for midsize companies it's $1.4m (£1.1m) and for small companies it's around $376,000 (£303,000). These are big numbers by anyone's standards, and much of it is made up of employee time spent away from their desk, plus transport, venue hire and a variety of other largely unnecessary overheads.
Video offers businesses the opportunity to make learning quicker, more enjoyable and more effective for sales associates – at a fraction of the price.
Meanwhile, the falling cost of animation, the increasing availability of the required skills and its consistently high popularity – offers an opportunity for businesses to add it to their training strategy, with results that speak for themselves.
You can read more about how Nikwax delivered this content in this blog - and Wyzowl's own Matt Byrom will be one of the speakers on a FREE webinar on Tuesday 28th March to discuss in much more detail. Click here, or the banner below, to register your attendance.