„We approached this as a corporate project rather than a training initiative insofar as it is rooted in a sales- driven objective, namely to make Nocibé n°1 in terms of customer service,“ says Luc Valentin, human resources director. To get staff members working towards this goal and bring a new dynamic to its training strategy, the perfume chain called on CrossKnowledge to develop a program that responds to its staff’s professional training needs. „We wanted to train our managers as well as our assistants, populations that have few qualifications or who trained several years ago in areas that are not particularly relevant to their current work at Nocibé. Even though we were new to e-learning, we chose this method for part of the program to train all the people concerned in the same way all over France“, he explains. At a time when competition is fierce, the objective is clear: „making our customer service a differentiating factor“.
Attracting learners with a certificate course
Entitled „Managing the team in support of customer relations“, the Nocibé training path is unusual in that successful trainees receive a diploma. „It’s an 18 month course that leads to a diploma equivalent to the „BTS“ professional qualification. It’s divided into 8 modules dealing with best practices in terms of team leadership, management, customer care, customer service quality, business knowledge, and so on“, says Luc Valentin. The training program combines face-to-face sessions and practical work in the field. „The course always begins with a preparatory e-learning session. Learners are then trained in the classroom for eight days at a rate of one training day every two months. They then receive on-the-job support“. Although the course targets 600 managers as a priority, it also filters down to the 2.800 members of the retail network who work alongside them. „The HR network managers, the trainers/coaches and the regional managers in charge of supervising our store managers also provide guidance for our in-store sales assistants during this support phase. The assistants also get a training module on customer care and sales techniques“, he explains.
Encouraging early results
In the rollout phase until December 2014, this training plan mainly supported by the HR department not only provides store managers with a complete set of tools, it also gives Nocibé customers and unforgettable shopping experience. „We’ve included a module in the program that allows managers and sales staff to acquire some forty „service rituals“: perfuming a customer, offering a quickie make-up session, giving away scented bracelets, and so on“, says Luc Valentin. These kinds of gestures have brought the Nocibé brand some very positive results. „In a stagnant distribution sector, our group is performing outstandingly and gaining new market shares. Although it’s too early to step back and measure the benefits of the new training initiative, we believe that we’ve risen to the challenge of mobilising our teams and leading them towards success. For the moment, the „mystery shopper“ visits we’ve carried out in stores allow us to conclude that our customer care has improved thanks to the training modules“, explains Luc Valentin.
A new training programme in the pipeline
Given how well this program has been received, Nocibé plans to roll out a new training path designed for beauticians working in its 280 salons. „This project, again in synch with the group’s business objectives, will also be focusing on service quality, which is part of Nocibé’s DNA. We plan to renew our partnership with CrossKnowledge and deploy the new training initiative over 18 months starting in early 2014“, says Luc Valentin. For this new challenge, Nocibé expects once again to be working within an optimized financial framework. „For our initial project, CrossKnowledge acted as an integrator between our group and all the other key people involved, and this helped us to resolve the financial, logistical and administrative issues“, he concludes.