How The North Face used bite-sized learning interventions alongside incentives to boost learner engagement by 274%
The North Face introduced bite-sized learning interventions to their employees in order to boost knowledge retention ahead of their busy winter period. By adding incentives to the mix, they were able to improve learner engagement by 274% and substantially increase customer satisfaction rates.
Engaging new and existing learners ahead of a busy retail period
The North Face EMEA eCommerce team were looking to onboard and train new employees as well as improve existing learner engagement ahead of their busy winter peak period in November 2020.
The North Face was already utilising Wranx – a micro-learning platform that facilitates personalised learning through Spaced Repetition. This was the ideal tool to help employees fill knowledge gaps, taking learners just 2-3 minutes per day to use at a time convenient to them.
The North Face’s main goal was to increase the eCommerce team’s engagement on Wranx, with many of their customer service reps being first-time users and new to their role. Elaine Glover, E-commerce Co Sourcing Team Leader at The North Face EMEA explains more:
The long term goal was absolutely to increase engagement and activity on Wranx for all CSRs and the perfect opportunity is usually the 6-8 week ‘lull’ we have after summer peak and before Black Friday, where we recruit in high volume and can spend quality time coaching, training and filling knowledge gaps for the teams. However, as this year has been extraordinary and we have seen a huge rise in eComm orders and therefore contact, our much anticipated ‘lull’ gives us perhaps 2 weeks instead – so we wanted to make the most of every day where we could.
E-commerce Co Sourcing Team Leader, The North Face EMEA
A bespoke service matched to The North Face®’s requirements
Wranx worked with The North Face® to create a project plan that was built around their training initiatives and goals. As part of the onboarding process, Wranx’s Support Team were able to categorise learners into team and division hierarchies, whilst also providing store managers access to the admin portal to and analytics for their team members and download reports. Wranx created a bespoke ‘Media Hub’ for The North Face® to use on the platform, where learners could access a variety of on-demand resources in a number of formats. The Media Hub included athlete and brand videos, product training videos, archive modules and their own Explorer Magazine. Wranx were also able to white label the platform, creating a dashboard that reflected The North Face® brand. This provided a more familiar, learner-centric experience for store associates.
An in-house content team working on behalf of The North Face®
Wranx’s Content Team converted The North Face®’s existing product content into modules that were released monthly to associates. The training modules covered a wide range of information on their products, including new technology launches such as VECTIV™ and FUTURELIGHT™ With any new technology launches, Wranx’s Content Team would share a draft of the module among a large number of The North Face® technology experts to ensure it was of the high standard needed to demonstrate the features and benefits of the technology. It was imperative that Wranx communicated the information as accurately and effectively as possible, as store associates across Europe were learning about these proprietary technologies for the first time on Wranx. Training modules were delivered in the form of ‘daily drills’ – 10–12 questions a day that take no longer than 2–3 minutes to complete. This bite-sized approach worked well for The North Face® associates, who were also sent daily reminders to complete their training. The North Face® also incorporated Certainty Based Marking (CBM) pre and post-assessments within their strategy to accurately identify employee knowledge gaps and prove the return on investment of training. They completed CBM assessments on the ‘New Explorer’ module, which taught staff the most effective selling techniques for a range of brand new products and technologies.
We’ve had a really positive experience with Wranx. Not only do our employees enjoy completing the short drills, they have been motivated by the gamification features on the app. Using this platform has had a direct impact on our customers, as a higher level of training has ensured they have an enjoyable experience in store. The uplift in sales is clear, as customers have said that their purchase decisions were influenced by our store colleague’s advanced product knowledge!
Senior Brand Education Manager , The North Face EMEA
The teams that took part were all eCommerce reps, where their day-to-day role includes managing customer emails, phone calls, live chat and social media. Approximately 75% of all CSRs were less than one month tenured due to The North Face’s Winter Peak ramp up, so education of the brand, products and technologies was essential.
An effective solution to improve learner engagement and knowledge retention
As a long-term partner of The North Face, Wranx provides regular analysis and consultation on which initiatives could improve business performance and learner engagement, both in the short and long term. In order to boost learner engagement, The North Face worked with Wranx to launch a successful incentive competition for the eCommerce team within a two-week timeframe. The group of learners were sorted into teams and competed to win a The North Face waterproof jacket each. The North Face had to successfully communicate with learners to initially spread awareness of the incentive and to boost engagement on the platform.
This was driven with leaders across two sites in Porto and Bulgaria, where rules, terms and marketing materials were agreed ahead of the launch. It was essential that Wranx could provide access to all new reps, as well as password resets to any tenured reps, in a quick and efficient manner. Daily reporting was also required to track individual and team progress to highlight success, as well as any areas of concern.
A streamlined competition that matched the brief
Learners were required to log into Wranx each day and complete short bite-sized ‘daily drills’ consisting of around 10 questions, taking no more than 2-3 minutes to complete. There were three modules in total available to learners: Onboarding: Heritage, Onboarding: Progressive Exploration and Summit Series. The Wranx content team also created an assessment that covered key topics across the three modules to test learner knowledge towards the end of the competition.
Each learner would have their engagement scores averaged to decide if they qualified to take the assessment, and their assessment results were also averaged to decide the top three winners.
Unprecedented learner engagement
Thanks to the competition, there was an increase of 156% in the total number of active users and a 274% increase in the total number of logins. There was also a 483% increase in the total hours trained and a 376% increase in the total number of questions answered.On average, the users who were most engaged with Wranx performed the best in the final assessment.
On average, the users who were most engaged with Wranx performed the best in the final assessment. The teams who finished in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place were in the top 26% of all teams in regards to engagement. This emphasises that the higher the participaction level is, the more knowledge is retained, which results in improved assessment scores.
The North Face also noted a rise in customer satisfaction during this period after achieving their highest Net Promoter Score (72.73% in their Sofia site) in review of the eight weeks prior to the competition launch. They also saw an overall rise in NPS for ‘Product’ related queries, going from around 35% to 59% across both sites.
The Wranx team worked well with me to understand our needs and smoothed out any queries before going live to be sure we were ready, but also made it known they were available to change plans at short notice if needed which was appreciated. Having a final quiz at the end of the burst fit the brief I needed – as was awarding prizes based on performance, but also participation – and the quiz was developed by the team which made it easy to validate winners but also show trends in that those with high participation scored highly in the test at the end. It’s really great to see such a positive result and the impact that the competition has made. The Wranx team have been integral in making this a success and I really see the value of repeating these initiative ‘bursts’ to boost engagement.
E-commerce Co Sourcing Team Leader, The North Face EMEA
Increase in the number of logins
Increase in the total hours trained
Increase in the total number of active learners
Teams who finished 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in the assessment were also in the top 26% of engaged learners
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES TRAINED:
KEY CUSTOMER CHALLENGES:
Onboarding new employees and improving knowledge retention Type of training delivered:Product knowledge/ onboarding
Improved employee engagement, knowledge retention and customer satisfaction
TOTAL TRAINING TIME DELIVERED:
65 hours and 6 minutes