I have always been a great believer in the power of training. Over the years, I have written and spoken about it. Here are some of the themes I have focused on . . . 

Training is not an expense, it is an investment that more than pays for itself in any organization.

An organization that offers excellent training becomes known for investing in people, which makes it easier and less expensive to recruit and hire the best new employees. 

Employees who are well trained provide superior customer service, which quickly increases customer satisfaction, loyalty and repeat business. 

Employe retention improves dramatically when a company trains its people well. This fact has been proven time and time again. 


Why Great Training Today Offers More Rewards than Ever Before

I stand by everything I wrote above – all the topics I have championed over the years. But here’s another observation about the importance of training that I also stand behind . . . 


The payback that training offers you is greater today than it was even a few years ago.

This is true because of significant changes in buying patterns that occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic. Consumer behavior has never changed so markedly in such a short period of time, in highly significant ways like these . . . 


So Much More Buying Is Taking Place Online

During the pandemic we went to work online. Our kids went to school online. Some of us dated online or connected more closely with our friends online. And people did much more shopping online too. (Have you seen all the Amazon and UPS trucks making deliveries on your street?) 

So if you train your franchise owners and their employees to turn their attention to providing excellent services and meaningful experiences to people who shop online, you will position yourself for success in the coming year and in years beyond. 

Some tips? Respond quickly to your online customers . . . train your people to provide personalized call-backs and other “high touch” experiences that differentiate your company and your brand . . . train your people to provide excellent technical advice in video service calls . . . and train your salespeople to make follow-up calls to customers to turn them into repeat buyers. 

And remember that in most franchises, you only need one central location to deliver that kind of excellent experience to remote buyers. You can set up and train an operational center in just one part of the country that supports individual franchises across the nation. That reduces the cost and complication of having every franchise deliver online sales and support.


Customers Are More Concerned for Personal Safety

Yes, the worst days of rapidly spreading pandemic infections are behind us and we are all looking forward to better times ahead. But customers have come to expect companies to be more careful about their safety. To prove that you take customers’ safety concerns seriously, you can train your franchisees to provide barriers, sanitizers, safe distance signage and other visible signs that their locations are safe . . . train service personnel to practice contagion-fighting protocols when visiting customers’ homes or businesses . . . train company personnel to make deliveries and handle product returns safely. 

Again, training is the key to show that you are a “safety first” company. 


Yet at the Same Time, People Are Hungry for Interpersonal Contact

While they were working remotely from their homes, many people developed a need to be in touch with other people. In other words, they became a little lonely. So this is a good time to train and coach your people to provide a higher level of caring, personal service. Your people can be trained to take a little more time to interact with walk-in customers if you are a retail business . . . to personalize phone conversations with customers and clients . . . and to follow up with customers after a sale has been made to assess their satisfaction. 

These steps can be summed up as “going the extra mile” for your customers. And the needed skills and attitudes can be taught through training. 


People Value Their Time More Than Ever Before

During the pandemic, many people began to feel time pressures more than ever before. Due to a more acute need for family and personal time, they needed to get shopping done faster . . . have home repairs and services delivered quickly and on time . . . exercise in smaller blocks of time . . . get medical care delivered quickly and efficiently . . . get their cars serviced in less time. 

So the bottom line is, saving time is more important to your customers than it has been at any time in the past. 

If you want your people to deliver your products and services in ways that respect these new needs and customer priorities, train them!


Training Is the Key . . .

The first step is to recognize your customers’ new needs and priorities. The second step is to train your people to deliver them. These are the secret of building greater success in the brave new world of life after the pandemic. 


About Evan Hackel, Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, Podcaster

A 30-year franchise veteran. Evan is the leader behind the launch of three successful franchise businesses. Evan managed a portfolio of franchise brands with systemwide sales surpassing $5 billion in five different countries. Dive into the world of “Ingaged Leadership,” a concept Evan not only coined but passionately advocates for. For the budding minds, his illuminating book, Ingaging Leadership Meets the Younger Generation, bridges the generational leadership divide. Recognized and revered in leadership circles, Evan’s insights have positioned him as a trailblazer in leadership and success.

Evan is the CEO of Ingage Consulting, a leading franchise consulting firm focusing on growing franchise systems. Reach Evan at (781) 820-7609 or ehackel@ingage.net