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Jiffy Lube is a car maintenance and auto service center chain that has had eight consecutive years of increasing average revenue per customer as well as increasing customer service scores. The company chalks this up to excellent training. In fact, Jiffy Lube topped Training Magazine’s 2014 Training Top 125 list.

Jiffy Lube says that training on new services, customer service skills, and leadership have not only improved business results but also resulted in a 93% approval rating by the company’s franchisees. Can trainers for pharmaceutical sales reps learn from Jiffy Lube’s experiences? Absolutely, and here are some key takeaways.

Gamification Gets Results

Gamification is moving into the mainstream as a training technique, and Jiffy Lube has made extensive use of this learning modality. For example, managers and assistant managers play a “Day in the Life of a Store Manager” simulation that sets up a series of scenarios that allow them to learn and practice managerial skills in a “safe to fail” environment. They earn points based on timeliness and quality of answers, and must obtain at least a threshold score before fulfilling leadership certification requirements. For many years the company has used a “Virtual Garage” simulation that lets employees experience how roles change when a service center team goes from a five-person to a four-person to a three-person team.

Excellent Training and Lower Employee Turnover

While there will always be a certain amount of risk involved in investing in employee training, the upside is that organizations that invest in outstanding training tend to have lower employee turnover rates. Jiffy Lube is no exception. Over the four years leading up to their place at the top of the Training Top 125, the company experienced a 45% reduction in turnover rate for technicians throughout the company, and they believe that better supervisor skills are to credit for much of that. The savings from reducing employee turnover can be significant, because of higher productivity, staff that isn’t overburdened, retained knowledge, and reduced costs associated with hiring replacements.

The Importance of E-Learning Cannot Be Overstated

Jiffy Lube has made extensive use of e-learning resources, firmly believing that despite what can be a high initial investment, over the long term e-learning is more cost effective than traditional modalities. Benefits the company has experienced from adopting e-learning have included:

  • Easy training access
  • Consistency of training content
  • Capability for quickly updating training content
  • Easy scalability of e-learning

In 2013, 95% of Jiffy Lube’s training courses were delivered by e-learning, with an astonishing cost per course per employee of less than 15 cents. E-learning can eliminate significant costs (like those due to travel), and allow training of more staff in less time.

Mobility Will Only Continue to Grow in Importance

Mobility is important in Jiffy Lube’s training programs and is expected to grow in importance. The company would like to provide tablets for use by employees during instructor-led training, as well as multi-language modules. The company is currently modifying all its e-learning courses to make sure they’re compatible with mobile devices, and all management training is already done on tablets. It only makes sense that pharmaceutical sales training will shift more to mobile devices since these devices are increasingly being used in “e-detailing” for providing physicians and other decision-makers with crucial product and clinical information in a convenient format.

Monitoring Pharma Sales Training Results Is Critical

Monitoring the results of sales training is essential no matter what the industry. But pharma sales training is particularly intensive and must conform to regulations while imparting highly technical information as well as training on sales skills. For that kind of investment of time and resources, you want to be certain you’re getting a decent ROI. Jiffy Lube tracks and reports on usage and completion data for over 100 e-learning modules plus its instructor-led training. The training program also generates data needed for metrics like employee retention, average revenue per customer, and customer service scores.

The main principle underlying any company’s commitment to training is the commitment to developing employees rather than just teaching them skills and hoping for the best. Providing outstanding training indicates to your employees that you value them and you want to help them make the most of their strengths, address weaknesses, and enjoy great achievements. At the same time, investing in employee development and training pays off in terms of higher revenues for your company.