Delivering training to a diverse audience
With the recent rise in competition in the beauty and retail industry, Sally Beauty needed a strategic point of differentiation. Since 47 percent of Sally Beauty sales come from hair color and hair care products, Sally Beauty placed its focus there.
More than half of Sally Beauty’s customers color their own hair, but 16 out of 150 daily customers were shopping with Sally Beauty while buying their hair color elsewhere.
These customers were buying boxed hair color kits from mass retailers and were likely intimidated by the fact that Sally Beauty’s professional hair color requires the user to mix the hair color themselves.
Sally Beauty saw this as an opportunity to build customer confidence and loyalty, as well as boost customer service care.
Sally Beauty store associates needed to be able to help their customers find and purchase the correct hair color products needed to create a successful in-home coloring experience. Store associates were unsure of the process, lacked confidence in their product knowledge, and often did not discuss hair color with customers. In an industry with an enormous amount of turnover, Sally Beauty wanted to equip its store associates with the right information to give professional consultation to customers.
A highly gamified, custom eLearning program
Sally Beauty partnered with Roundtable Learning to create highly-interactive, gamified eLearning modules to train its store associates. All aspects of the course design were intentional and sensitive to its audience.
In previous training courses, Sally Beauty employees expressed feedback that the characters representing store associates were all thin. Keeping this in mind, Sally Beauty worked with Roundtable Learning to create diverse, custom characters that were designed to portray Sally Beauty’s “you be you” mentality. Additionally, all characters in the modules were designed to be in Sally Beauty dress code and wear name tags. Throughout the modules, characters are specifically referred to as Beauty Advisors, as they are in Sally Beauty stores.
Through scenario-based games, associates could practice real-life situations in an environment that facilitated engagement and knowledge retention. The knowledge checks were designed to provide instant feedback if the learner selected the wrong hair color product. This feedback helps learners to see the impact their choices could have when applied to real-life situations.
The results: An immediate success
The training was an immediate success. Sally Beauty associates found assisting customers with hair color to be much easier after completing the training. In fact, one product line sold out within 48 hours of launching the new curriculum. Prior to training, Sally Beauty associates felt intimidated when assisting customers on hair color. After completing the training courses, they say they feel confident building rich baskets of product from all sides of the store.
One employee said, “I assisted women with hair color the same day as taking courses, and I remembered the modules and what I had learned from them. I asked the right questions and followed through with an average of nine product purchases.”
The main objective of the learning program was to effectively equip the store associates with enough information to confidently provide professional consultation to their customers. Through creating customized, highly interactive eLearning courses, Sally Beauty found that it was possible to reinforce the key concepts of training in a way that was engaging and impactful to its store associates.