Myagi aims to reinvent retail associate training
For anyone hosting a training session, realizing that more than half of the audience are looking at their smartphones can provoke one of two reactions: Feel professionally wounded but plow ahead, or stop the presentation and find a different way to re-engage the audience.
Simon Turner choose the latter.
When the Australian-born businessman realized no one was focused on what he was saying, he switched his original agenda to a 30-minute exchange with attendees to explore alternative training methods — what was working, and what wasn’t.
That impromptu session became the genesis for Myagi, an online associate learning and knowledge platform for retailers and brands designed to ensure that sales associates have the skills, knowledge, confidence and context to deliver unforgettable customer experiences.
Co-founders Turner and Tom McLeod launched Myagi in 2014 and in just three years they’ve developed an e-learning network for more than 120 retailers and brands globally, totaling over 10,000 store locations.
“The sales associate of the future has to be more than just operationally proficient — they need to be an experience maker,” says Turner, who also serves as president. “That involves far more than just giving them the first five steps to ringing up a sale. It involves educating them on how to deliver exquisite service, providing them with the knowledge needed to better serve customers and working to develop sharp problem-solving skills.”
Myagi has a laser focus on retail, particularly creating and managing content. Using Myagi on their own smartphone, associates on the floor, team managers and third-party brand experts can create content; that content and knowledge can then scale across the organization and be shared with one click.
Myagi uses machine learning to determine the most important and impactful lessons that should be pushed out to staff on any given day — meaning the right training content is delivered to the right associate at the right time. Managers can route content based on job roles and functional responsibilities; they have the option to provide specific coaching by area, district or region. The platform also allows managers to track and rank performance between stores.
Say a sales associate is on her way to work, knowing it’s going to be a busy day. “Myagi pushes out a visual, rich learning experience highlighting five key things she needs to know,” Turner says. “It might be content that helps her in a skills gap or a proficiency gap. It might be specific content about a product that’s trending.
“She can access the content on her smartphone, consume it as she commutes, and when she hits the floor she will be better prepared to master customer interactions at a higher level than if she just was reading off an iPad or spec sheet. With knowledge, a sales associate can build stronger connections with shoppers, which we know drives higher sales, better customer satisfaction. It also helps her feel better about her job.”
Retailers using Myagi have reported greater customer satisfaction and a lift in employee retention. Chapel Hill, N.C.-based Performance Bike has seen a marked improvement in employee engagement and training; earlier this year their team, which spans 106 stores, consumed nearly 50,000 lessons.
How does that translate to return on investment? Turner says it varies by company, though “We know there’s a direct correlation between training associates to deliver emotionally engaging customer experiences and a sales lift of 20 to 40 percent on those products they’re knowledgeable about,” he says.