Specsavers Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) has won the 2017 Platinum LearnX Impact Award in the Best Training and Capability Development Program category.

The awards were open to Australian organisations across a broad variety of categories, with Vodafone, Australia Post, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Domino’s Pizza among the 2017 winners.

Despite considerable competition, Specsavers’ CREATE development program came out on top, achieving the highest possible accolade in its category, being the only ‘Platinum’ award winner.

CREATE was developed in-house by Specsavers ANZ’s Retail Training and Development (T&D) team over a period of 24 months.

“The customer service standards in Specsavers stores are excellent, but we wanted to investigate how we could turn exceptional service into an exceptional experience,” said Danny Ginsberg, Head of Training – Retail Asia Pacific.

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The T&D team undertook extensive internal and external research to identify the most successful aspects of the Specsavers customer experience. These were then categorised into six capabilities that could be enhanced through structured training across all stores – Coach, Relate, Enquire, Adapt, Teach and Engage (CREATE).

Danny Ginsberg accepting the LearnX Award

“The program was designed to equip our leaders and our teams with the capability and tools to consistently create exceptional customer experiences within their stores, and as a result, grow our talent and our store’s performance,” Danny explained.

“We started off testing the program from the perspective of a team member interacting with a customer, but what we discovered was that the capabilities could be effectively applied to improve any form of interpersonal relationship – including between store leader and team member, and optometrist and patient,” Danny said.

A pilot program launched in March 2016, and after further refinements were made in response to the pilot findings, CREATE started officially rolling out across Specsavers stores from March 2017. The ANZ program is also being adapted for delivery in European Specsavers markets.

“The CREATE Program is the most impactful talent development program in Specsavers ANZ history,” Danny said. “It has evolved significantly since its inception and now it’s now no longer just a development program – it’s a whole new way of approaching our customers.”

The LearnX Impact Awards ceremony will be held on 6 September 2017 in Sydney as part of the LearnX Summit, which also features Danny in its speaker program.

The LearnX Foundation is an independent non-profit event management and design agency that aims to amplify the impact of talent development and supporting technologies through its live summits and international awards programs.

Specsavers has won multiple awards since launching in the local market. The business has previously been named Retailer of the Year and Retail Employer of the Year, and has also been recognised as Franchise of the Year in both Australia and New Zealand.