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Training & education: Be willing to go the extra step

Training & education: Be willing to go the extra step Q. How can education help me compete with online retailers?

A. Brick-and-mortar retailers are often frustrated when customers use their stores as a showroom for their later purchases online. What if online price cutting isn't the only reason your customer decides to leave a store and shop online instead? What if you could keep more of your sales in house by investing more in employee education and training? A recent survey from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University found that service may be the deciding factor for a customer to make purchases in store versus online.

Providing a positive customer experience and amazing service is a big part of what separates physical retailers from online sites. Brick-and-mortar retailers who want to thrive will proactively invest in training and educating staff on not only individual products, but also whole package solutions. Knowing the features and benefits of key category products will give your team the opportunity to educate customers and offer personalized solutions. Customers will recognize your store as a category destination and your staff as disease management specialists. People will have confidence in your staff's ability to offer products that work synergistically to improve their independence and quality of life.

Brick-and-mortar retailers can further differentiate themselves from online sites by offering educational events for customers. Some great educational opportunities include: presentations given by field experts on disease management, a health fair, an open Q&A forum with a healthcare professional from a specific field, or even a support group led by a health professional. These educational events are a part of customer service.  You are willing to go the extra step.

Caroline Pinney is national education and training manager for Juzo. Reach her at 800-222-4999 or


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