Nuernberg (GER), April 2022 - Küchen Quelle GmbH, a Nuremburg-based company whose name means "Kitchen Source", specializes in the retail sale of state-of-the-art kitchens, from planning to installation. Besides its Nuremberg salesroom, the firm offers free planning assistance in the client’s home - anywhere in Germany - supported by 3D and mixed reality technologies. Gabriele Doerfert is Head of Küchen Quelle’s Marketing Academy and Product Management Mixed Reality. In this capacity, she is responsible for training the sales consultants, as well as for the "Digital Academy", which was established in 2020. Despite Corona, the digital training continued because, as Doerfert observes, "for a decentralized sales company, this is the ideal solution even in normal times". Gabriele Doerfert will be speaking at the LEARNTEC Congress, 31 May at 17.15 about "Digital Performance Support: Workflow Learning for Home Consultation."
How much experience had Küchen Quelle already gathered in Performance Support before you decided to deploy it in home consultation?
Gabriele Doerfert: We founded our Academy in 2018 with a focus on newcomers to the field of kitchen planning and consulting. In 2021, despite Corona, we were able to expand the program to all kitchen consultants because the Academy was already functioning.
Our concept offers what turned out to be an ideal solution for a decentralized sales company, even in normal times, because it allows us to reach every employee anytime and anywhere. Instead of limiting ourselves to regional meetings and people looking for a ride to them, we now offer stable, year-round training for our sales force.
In this specific context, how does Workflow Learning differ from other learning approaches?
Gabriele Doerfert: The sales training for our kitchen consultants comprises a wide range of units. At the beginning, there are micro-learning sessions, with a duration of about six-and-a-half to twelve minutes. Each of these is a video whose content is of direct relevance to the consultants' day-to-day work. After that, learning units are offered in the classroom or via teams with handouts and downloadable material.
We have evaluated the clicks and found that the greatest demand is for the topics "Starting a Conversation" and "Needs Assessment". The number of clicks tells us what colleagues report they need and allows us to expand on these topics. However, if a topic gets a conspicuously large number of clicks, this can also mean we haven’t prepared it well enough and there are too many unanswered questions. This gives us a valuable, trainer independent assessment of our content, and since we have full control over the topics, demand and quality, we have been able to react quickly and effectively.
How many employees access Workflow Learning and how often is it used?
Gabriele Doerfert: We have a total of 120 kitchen consultants working nationwide, and about 70 have been trained in mixed reality consulting. Between April 2021 and March 2022, access to optional learning content increased by almost 50 percent, and for obligatory content, it was 360 percent! For sales training, we saw an increase of about 110%, which is a good number. Sales training was our first topic, and the increase indicates the actual usage after classroom training of support in the Workflow.
What changes or results due to the approach have you observed?
Gabriele Doerfert: A better learning culture has been created throughout our HR development area, and the Digital Academy has become "normal" for our colleagues in the field. Our work in the Sales Academy is also changing: Many standard teaching units are now available as videos that can be called up any time. This gives us trainers more freedom to provide individual support and, of course, to develop new topics and content.
In addition, we have seen a significant change in our kitchen consultants’ results. In normal sales in the last two years, the value of the orders and the average closing rate have increased significantly, but the results when Mixed Reality was used have been especially good. With Mixed Reality, we have taken the step from a "technical" sales approach to an "experiential" approach to selling kitchens, which are a highly emotional product, and this is fun for customers and consultants alike - and has proven really successful.
Can the experience you have gained also be used in other areas of the company?
Gabriele Doerfert: We are planning to offer learning opportunities in the Digital Academy for our office staff as well and are currently working on the program.