The Fragrance Shop: Scentsational training success with gamification

The Fragrance Shop (TFS) is one of the UK’s most recognisable fragrance retailers, delivering perfumes to customers in over 200 stores.

98% knowledge gap closure
98% of staff said they would apply product knowledge in their daily work
82% of staff like this way of training
7x repetitions per module on average
2.1M times has the content been accessed since launch

Scentsational training success with gamification

The Fragrance Shop (TFS) is one of the UK’s most recognisable fragrance retailers, delivering perfumes to customers in over 200 stores.

With the aim of providing an immersive perfume experience for each and every customer, employees have to know their stuff. In fact, TFS staff say “training is an integral part of The Fragrance Shop’s ethos” – it’s vital for business success.

But with such a diverse workforce, and with over 400 brands in store, how can staff effectively learn the ins and outs of fragrance?

This is where Attensi came in. TFS overcame the obstacles of staff training through their new ScentBox training app, which recently earned them the prestigious Gold award at the Learning Awards in the Innovation in Learning category. They are now able to change the game in all things employee training, through gamification and immersive learning.

To learn more about their new training app, we spoke to Sanjay Vadera (CEO), Mel Weatherhead (People Director), Berni Hawkins (Chief Strategy and Growth Officer), Joan Batley (Retail Projects Manager), Oonagh MacLoughlin (Area Manager for TFS in the North West of England), and Angeline Ingram (Manager at the Trafford Centre).


TFS’s past training – a fragrance fiasco

With high expectations for staff brand and product knowledge, effective employee training was integral. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be done with traditional training techniques.

Trying to train staff through these methods whilst “making it the same experience throughout was really quite difficult.

Area manager, Oonagh told us that TFS “had quite complicated paper documents.” They also “really struggled to get staff engagement because you were leaving them to do it themselves, then you’re coming back and having to check, and with opening hours and range of stores, it was really difficult to keep people at the same point.

They needed a solution where everyone would get exactly the same consistent training, in a medium that was suitable for them. When traditional training methods didn’t make the cut, TFS looked to Attensi.


Things started to make scents with ScentBox

To nail down TFS’s training challenges, we built ScentBox – a downloadable app resembling a brain-training game.

The gamified modules in the ScentBox app ensured employees repeated the questions and modules until they had achieved at least 4 or 5 stars. Management could then be confident that their teams had really achieved a sense of mastery, all thanks to the reporting capabilities of their Attensi platform.

The central training team can now track progress with ease, update modules much faster, and vitally, ensure everyone’s receiving the same high quality training.

First impressions of ScentBox

We received universally excellent feedback on the training from across the board at TFS. Everyone’s first impressions resonated with Angeline Ingram.

“Really fun, really bright, really interactive, and something completely different to anything I’ve seen before in regards to training.”

Joan explains that they’ve got quite a:

“Young, diverse team and they spend a lot of time on their phones, so with this being a tech-based solution, it really suited their lifestyle. They engaged with it much more.”

The accessibility and ease of use was a big plus, employees now have learning at their fingertips that can be accessed anytime, and anywhere.

The sweet smell of success

The positive reactions to ScentBox are reflected in great results:

98% of knowledge gap closed after training
98% of staff said they would use their product knowledge in their day-to-day job
82% of staff like this way of training
7x repetitions per module on average
2.1M times have the content has been accessed since launch

Angeline tells the Attensi team that ScentBox “doesn’t compare at all” to their old training. She states that the “app has made a massive difference” to ensuring that training steers away from ‘messy’ to consistent.


The drivers of repetition

Ultimately, the repetitive nature of the ScentBox app is how staff became so scent savvy. It’s how the team embeds their learning and motivation.

When staff complete a module, they’ll be awarded points, with quicker completion leading to more points. Staff can repeat modules and improve their scores an unlimited number of times. This not only helped them climb the department and global leaderboards, but also fostered motivation and a sense of fun.

Repetition, coupled with a healthy dose of competition, produced a training solution that motivated staff to take their learning to another level. Whether that’s part-time employees or Area Managers, TFS staff stayed motivated to reach the top of leaderboards within the app.

A safe space to fail

Creating a safe learning space for the team was another of TFS’s goals. Failure is now viewed as a learning opportunity, instead of something that’s penalised.

“The partnership we’ve had from Attensi from the word go has been brilliant.”

Joan Bately

Retail Project Manager | TFS


Why a partnership with Attensi made perfect scents

Partnered with Attensi, TFS was determined to keep up their award-winning status by providing fantastic customer service.

Oonagh shares that since the arrival of ScentBox, “the way that we treat our customers has gone up a hundred fold. Two or three years ago, employee knowledge was basic, whereas now knowledge is consistent thanks to training.

They love that it sets the tone for new employees too, and “their first impressions of the company and how we invest in their training and development”, as shared by Mel.

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