My apprenticeship has given me the confidence to want to manage a store in the future.
Why an apprenticeship?
I’ve been dying for the chance to start an apprenticeship after finding out about them through conversations with my colleagues. The idea of gaining a qualification, improving myself and earning money at the same time added that extra spark to my interest! I spoke about my desire to further my professional development with my manager and she suggested I sign up to the Level 2 Retail Apprenticeship. After being in my position for two years at that point, the timing was perfect to develop new skills and knowledge in retail.
I’ve been a Customer Advisor at JoJo Maman Bébé now for over 3 years, and prior to my apprenticeship, I wanted to master the skills and knowledge I needed to be successful in retail. Specifically, I needed to gain a greater understanding of sizing and fittings, more importantly I needed practice advising customers on this subject. I also wanted to learn how to initiate more sales by improving my customer service abilities.
There are very few opportunities within retail for official training courses due to the fast-paced nature of the business. My apprenticeship was delivered in partnership with HIT Training, and my HIT Training Consultant, Becky provided fresh insight to my learning drawing from her years of experience in the industry. By learning new skills from Becky and practicing them at work under her observation, I was able to progress quickly and without feeling pressured.
Rebekah Manley, Customer Advisor at JoJo Maman Bébé
Benefitting my business
Through my apprenticeship, I was able to benefit our business by learning the importance of having a strong base of knowledge on our product. By familiarising myself with our product range, I’ve more than doubled the amount of sales I’ve closed simply by finding out what customers want and having answers to all their questions. Since this technique increased my sales, I regularly discuss our product range with my colleagues aiming to increase our sales as a group. We even made this a part of our routine when receiving deliveries and storing products.
With my Training Consultant observing how I talk with customers, I was able to understand the benefits of treating customers as individuals. By changing my approach and mirroring the behaviour of customers, I’m able to create a welcoming atmosphere. This resulted in customers spending longer periods of time in the store, even approaching me for my opinions on current style trends and sizing.
The HIT Training difference
My whole experience with Becky and HIT Training has not only given me the tools I needed to improve, but gave me a level of confidence I’ve never had before! Becky made me feel comfortable by supporting me to complete assignments both at work and at home. Even with completing much of the work for my apprenticeship at home, my work schedule and home life never felt out of balance.
I would recommend the experience of an apprenticeship to anyone, in particular retail workers. In the future I’d love to manage a store! My experience has inspired me to want to work towards my goal by learning the ropes with another apprenticeship and continuing my professional development.