Kmart is a global shopping store that is considered one of the most popular and trusted brands in the United States, founded by Sebastian S. Kresge. Often referred to as K-Mart, it is the third-largest discount store behind Target and Wal-Mart. In efforts to remain competitive, it is vital to continue to work on its competitive strategy while placing emphasis on the needs of the business to improve its overall bottom line.
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Kmart claims (2012) “that their overall workforce is highly diverse and reflect the communities it serves and that thirty-two percent of its workforce represents multicultural minorities” (Sears Holding p. 1). Additionally, Kmart is patronized by multicultural shoppers, and Kmart believes (2012) that “multicultural shoppers in the United States represent 1.2 trillion dollars in joint purchasing power” (Sears Holding, p. 1).
Customer service training that is delivered via a computer-based learning management system may provide Kmart with well-versed employees that understand how to deliver customer service, which then provides Kmart an advantage over competitors.
Kmart uses automation to maintain inventories, to process sales, lay-a-ways, returns, and to record employee time and attendance. Because employees are already familiar with computers, customer service training via the computer-based learning management system may be the optimal method for customer service training. Kmart’s primary objective is not only to retain its customer base but also to acquire new customers and increase its revenues. Kmart should not only continue to train employees to provide superior customer service as part of employee professional development but also improve the training to be self-paced, multi-leveled, and include incentives for completing different levels of training.
Analyzing tasks is a critical part of an organization. This typically involves the break-down of the job duties and responsibilities as it relates to the policy and procedure and what is required to improve performance in efforts to gain better results. Kmart places a huge emphasis on customer service. There are various ways to improve customer service based on past and present data, growth, patterns, and feedback from customers.
Kmart utilizes simulations and real-life scenarios via Webinar training for each employee. Customer service associate is one of the most important positions within Kmart. Because consumers are more likely to interact with customer service associates, this area is a critical piece to success in their role. Interaction can be over the phone or face to face. In order to be able to do this, one must be outgoing, pleasant, and friendly are some of the characteristics that Kmart desires individuals to possess, in addition to being personable as well as displaying good communication and listening skills. These skills are vital in any position within Kmart.
Kmart takes steps to train and develop each associate, utilizing delivery methods that are beneficial to the prospective role. The ultimate goal is to develop associates who display exceptional customer service. These individuals have the ability to help an unsatisfied customer to resolve matters with little to no supervision. By doing so, will always leave satisfied, which often leads to repeat business. Customer service associates would benefit greatly from computer-based training. Utilizing a form of Webinar is a great option for many businesses as it saves time and reduces spending. Kmart has the option of conducting training via presentation, lecture, or web-based training.
Learning objectives outlining what material is covered-Karrie
At Kmart, when it comes to the proposed training objectives for a customer service associate, return customers are a key element. The company must factor in that retaining their loyal customers and gaining new customers is an important objective. In order for Kmart to gain and retain that loyal customer base, they must focus more on the presentation and offering of their award system known as “Shop Your Way Rewards”( Kmart,2010) for their loyal customers.
It has been said that “Increased customer retention has two important effects (1) it can lead to a gradual increase in the company’s customer base, which is vital in an era of low sales growth. And (2) the profits earned from each individual grows, the longer the customer remains loyal to the company.” (Rose, 1990) Making each individual associate more knowledgeable on the “Shop Your Way Rewards” (Kmart, 2010) concept and how to offer or present it. This loyalty program should be presented to all customer bases in an enthusiastic or excited demeanor. They are letting the customer know how beneficial the program can be.
All of Kmart’s customer service associates should be able to inform the entire customer base of each and every benefit, reward, and special offer attributed to the “Shop Your Way Rewards” (Kmart, 2010) program. How this Loyalty program works needs to be focused on and explained in detail to each and every associate employed through Kmart. This training will be broken down into sections focusing on presentation benefits, incentives, member levels, the redemption of rewards, and presentation.
Kmart currently uses a computer-based learning management system. The Appropriate delivery method for this new training concept would be a webinar system. This is an interactive technology of teleconferencing. This system allows for a Q&A segment so the associates can have a clearer understanding of what is expected of their outcomes. The reincorporation of Digital Debbie as the spokesperson for the “Shop Your Way Rewards “(Kmart 2010) program gives the associates fun and entertaining animated persona to relate to. She explains all incentives and levels of membership and what members will receive with this incentive program. She also shows associates how to explain to customers how to access all information on the “Shop Your Way Rewards” (Kmart 2010) website.
Measures and collection points-DANIELLE
In order to introduce new technology and integrate computer-based training for consumers, a number of steps should be implemented. To begin with, the employees should acknowledge the changes in the managerial processes, including the employee-customer interaction. This condition is ensured because consumer associate has been introduced to treat new customers and inform the regular customers about the new service.
This stage should be taken into deepest consideration because it influences the overall success of the professional development plan. More importantly, the stage has a potent impact on managing cross-cultural communication and the decision-making process. Second, to check the benefits and shortcomings of the program, one should make the customer questionnaire for conducting a survey and evaluating the effectiveness of the automated devices. Finally, it is highly essential to adjust to changes and correct the mistakes.
With regard to the above-presented measures and collection points, the timeframe will be split into three stages, two weeks each. In addition, time is needed for other organizations to approve the professional development plan. The period after the planned accomplishment is also necessary for assessing the outcomes and making the corresponding conclusions. Needs analysis, therefore, should take no more than one month to accurately define whether the continuation of the plan development is necessary or not.
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Expected results quantifying success, failure, and the in-between-DANIELLE
Increasing consumer demand and receiving a competitive advantage over other companies is the main learning objective that can successfully be achieved by introducing the above-presented methods. In addition, because computer training implies using simulations and virtual reality, theoretical and empirical results of the development plan will be associated with real-to-life situations (Blanchard & Thacker, 2007).
The success of the computer program will also depend largely on the efforts and strategies that will be used by the consumer associate. Overall, introducing automatic devices can enhance the quality of service by improving the attention of employees to the needs and requirements of consumers. The integration of academic information will help managers understand the process of enhancing control over human resources in the context of strategic management. Finally, implementing technology can provide the company with new reserves for operating in a competitive environment.
By following the proposed training plan, Kmart provides the opportunity to improve employee’s customer service skills. Additionally, by delivering superior customer service, Kmart may increase its customer base and revenues. With increased customers and revenues, Kmart may provide more opportunities for valued employees to advance in their Kmart careers. Taking advantage of employees’ existing computer skills by teaching customer service skills to employees is the key to Kmart’s future success in the competitive economy.
Blanchard, P. N., & Thacker, J. W. (2007). Effective Training: Systems, Strategies, and Practices (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Rose, S. (1990). The Coming Revolution in credit cards, Journal of retail banking. pp. 17-19.
Sears Holding Corporation (2012). About Kmart. Web.