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September 2021 ertonline.co.uk


“Some weren’t able to provide computers for their


staff and could only accommodate training videos for their phones, while others had no facilities for this and wanted PDF documents instead. “This meant that, as training providers, we


needed to be able to provide information in various different formats to accommodate the varying needs of our retailers.” Meanwhile, according to Beko’s Marketing


Director, Vijay Bhardwaj, webinar requests are becoming the norm, and social platforms, like WorkPlace from Facebook, are being implemented to deliver engaging content that can be absorbed on the go. “We’ve adapted to this demand for blended


delivery,” he explains, “with a team of digitally- savvy trainers that we liken to influencers, they are called Digital First Trainers. Their aim is to create communities within our retailers, and link the training material to salespeople that need it, in memorable, impactful and engaging ways. As restrictions ease for going back into store, our Digital First team deliver a mix of digital training events, such as webinars, bite-size video content on retailer social platforms, and group face-to-face sessions.”


Clare Edwards from Smeg


Beko's Digital First Trainers


Getting match fit Training hasn’t stopped over at Smeg either, and Clare Edwards, National Training and Sales Support Manager at Smeg UK, says many retailers have used recent time to get ‘match fit’ for when then stores reopened. Over the last year, the brand has morphed and adapted to the changing environment… Ms Edwards comments: “Starting with a simple


Zoom training session, and using PowerPoint, to developing content that brings the online session to life. The new online sessions now include pre- recorded interaction with the appliance – providing close-up views and seeing the cooking appliance live. “We have also invested in a self-levelling tripod


which allows us to move around the showroom and get close to the appliances, plus two 4K live streaming cameras and mixing deck to offer a slick, smooth and professional training experience. You almost feel like you are there with us!” As the country began to open up again, many


retailers had to focus on getting their staff back into store safely (which in itself often creates a training need) and on recouping any lost revenue. As a result, there’s currently demand for shorter, easily digestible training sessions that allow staff to refresh their memories on key features and technologies, but without taking too much time away from the shopfloor. “At Miele, the bulk of our training is still being


carried out online,” says Ms Clarke. “However, we are starting to see the demand for face-to-face training increase as companies get over the initial transition period and start to settle back into a routine. It’s clear that whilst online training has been a new experience for many retailers, it’s definitely going to continue as a key tool for the future. “The benefit of being able to increase the


knowledge of your workforce without losing them out of the business for a day is one that has been recognised by many companies and will remain in demand despite the easing of restrictions.”


Elsewhere, at the start of this year, Beko ran a


couple of trial webinars with one region of a national retailer – a 45-minute session using Microsoft Teams, with participants being able to engage via the ‘chat’ function. Mr Bhardwaj comments that these trials were


met with such positive feedback, the retailer requested a repeat of them for their entire estate. He says: “This led to 21 webinars being


delivered over a three-week period, with record levels of engagement and multiple requests for further sessions. This has paved the way for conversations with our other retailers, and helping them understand that there are very few barriers to making digital training a success.”


Convenience is key Ms Edwards adds that many retailers have commented about the convenience of Smeg’s online training sessions. “The presentation was really informative and interactive,” said one business owner in their feedback. Another said their team left their session feeling very confident, while one person said it was “exactly what we needed”… “Some training courses can get quite boring with information overload, but Smeg had the perfect balance. Clare and Alice Snow work really well together and their positive energy kept the whole thing enjoyable!”


>>


Beko's Vijay Bhardwaj


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