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We hire for attitude and aptitude. We train for skills. So when we want to boost our customer experience to create raving fans, how do we go about it? This was the challenge set by Roadchef when they wanted to prove that customer service online learning can support taking their people to the next level, delivering improved customer service and sales.

Over a 12-week period, Roadchef analysed the performance of six of its coffee franchises against six control sites and the company average. As part of a business drive to improve performance, all employees at the trial sites undertook Upskill People’s online learning training for its course Counter Food Sales & Service Essentials. Overall performance was analysed using the respected Net Promoter[i] principles of assessment, alongside other performance measurements.

  • “We have recently deployed the Upskill People online learning platform following a highly successful pilot. We initially focussed on satisfying our compliance training needs but we knew that the platform could deliver a lot more as part of a blended learning approach to support the key business drivers of the business."

  • “Upskill People suggested that we run a controlled pilot and included their new course. One of our key strategies is to help our people ‘Listen and Learn’, improving the customer experience and upselling our customers to additional product ranges and lines. Being able to measure our trial stores against control stores and the company average has certainly supported the business case for increasing our use of online learning in support of our business goals.”

    Jane Frost, Training and Development Manager at Roadchef

Service with a smile

The below graph demonstrates conclusively that the pilot stores improved their Friendliness scores significantly. Raving Fans[ii] are created when a customer receives a first class experience and great customer service. Deliver this and we know loyalty and recommendations flood in and sales increase.

In the assessment of Friendliness, the trial stores were initially performing significantly below the company average. There was an immediate improvement that increased dramatically in one month. Importantly, this performance was sustained with employees continuing to outperform the company average beyond the 12-week pilot.

Adding Extra

Small changes can yield large profits. This is definitely true for coffee shops that aim to increase the number of people who buy additional extras. For the trial, the online learning course trained people in how to effectively upsell customers to Premium Drinks. These extra shots and flavoured syrups cost just that little bit more but increase the average transaction value and overall margin – and deliver a new experience for customers.

The trial stores were already outperforming the company average and continued to do so post training, unlike the control stores whose performance dipped during the 12-week assessment.

  • People management book from Pete Fullard, CEO of Upskill People

    “Our wide range of compliance courses keep our clients the right side of the law and their customers safe. As a company we go beyond this to deliver measurable bottom line benefits, to reduce operational costs and to above all improve sales and service. This helps our clients get a measurable return on investment.”

    Pete Fullard, Creative Director of Upskill People

Upskill People also gathers employees’ views and opinions on the courses as well as ideas about business improvements. We think of it as a hundred light bulbs going off capturing those bright ideas from front line employees.

The figures speak for themselves:

  • 96% enjoyed learning in this way.
  • 94% learned knowledge and skills from the course.
  • 96% said having well-written text and sound/pictures/videos helped them understand and remember.

To find out more about our pilot studies drop us a line.

  • “I really enjoyed doing this course. Our employees will find the different techniques really helpful. This could have a very positive effect on them and our customers.”

End notes

[i] Net Promoter is a management tool that records the loyalty of an organisation’s customer relationships. Net Promoter Score industry leaders are 2.6 times more likely to outperform their competitors.

[ii] If you haven’t already read it, we highly recommend the book ‘Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service’.