Designing a training model to put Stockmann’s new sales and service model into practice with staff
Stockmann is a Finnish department store company, and offering the best customer service in the field is the cornerstone of their business. The company’s sales personnel follow a service model called ‘Diamond’ in their work, but this needed to be updated to respond better to customer needs. It was clear that the renewed Diamond system would succeed only if it could be implemented and integrated into the everyday practices of all staff.
Stockmann approached Hellon to develop an innovative training model that would help them roll out the renewed Diamond model to their personnel. This was a big task, since the company currently employs around 3,000 sales people in nine different department stores in Finland and abroad.
In the research phase the design team familiarised themselves with Stockmann’s current training practices for sales personnel and with the renewed Sales and Service Diamond. The team also closely observed the customer service encounters and sales situations in the stores.
In the concept phase, multiple alternative models and approaches to execute Diamond training were created. The learning objective of the training was specified and the available resources assessed, with a clear focus on finding effective, inspiring ways to coach participants.
The new training concept was tested twice by organising training simulation sessions for the Stockmann sales trainers. The scheduling of the training, facilitation model, functionality of the materials and also the capabilities of the sales trainers, were all rigorously tested at these events. After the test training, the results were carefully analysed and further ideation was carried out with the sales trainers. Special attention was given to the emotional impacts of the training (e.g. inspiration, excitement and amusement).
The Diamond Game
We created an innovative training model called The Diamond Game, which simulates challenging customer service situations at different stages of the sales process. The aim is to build participants’ capability to solve tricky situations and permanently change their behaviours.
The game helps to facilitate training and enables the trainer to service a larger group of staff at the same time.
The game utilises the principles of participatory learning. Participants own problem solving skills, critical thinking, self-expression and willingness to stick their own neck out are key to adopting new skills. Correct answers aren’t passed out, sharing experiences is encouraged instead.
We implemented the game through train the trainer which enabled us to put the training into practice for all relevant staff quickly. Hellon trained 12 and those went on to train more, equalling 65 qualified sales trainers in total. They in turn trained the sales personnel, creating an entirely more customer-centric sales organisation.
The sales people have experienced the gamified learning experience to be intriguing, up-to-date and inspiring… Through the game we have managed to bring very realistic everyday sales situations in the learning environment – the situations and the customer’s behaviour in these feels very authentic, which has strengthened the staff’s experience of the usefulness and meaningfulness of learning. – Pia Kuusisto, Head of Talent Management and HR Business Partners, Stockmann Oy