WHAT KIND OF REACTION DO YOU GET FROM ASSOCIATES WHEN YOU INTRODUCE CROSS-TRAINING?
Everybody is very eager to help one another. Really, that’s what helps me—they really like to know all aspects of the store and to be able to help out in different areas.
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHOM TO CROSS-TRAIN?
I mainly focus on front end associates. They’re like the leaders of the customer experience in the store, really. They’re making sure that we have enough registers open and all of the equipment is functional, and they’re handling any customer issues that come up. Then they help train other associates on different aspects of providing customer service.
WHAT IS YOUR CROSS-TRAINING FOCUS?
It’s making sure that all of my associates know as much as they can for their areas. So my cashiers and self-checkout hosts know how to do each other’s jobs. And my service desk associates also know how to cashier and work self-checkout.
I like to train supervisors first and work my way down, because if you train them, they can pass that knowledge along, too.
WHAT KIND OF THINGS DO YOU CROSS-TRAIN ASSOCIATES TO DO?
One thing I train them on is how to use the handhelds to better assist customers when something is out of stock. When they scan an item into the inventory management app, it shows when our next delivery is and if there’s any stock in the backroom. They can tell a customer, “Oh, it looks like we should have it in a week or two.”