It can be hard to keep up with our fast-paced world, but it is possible to do just that on the retail floor – with the right technology. By now, we know consumers want it all with their favorite retailers, both online and in-store, but how can you link that digital customer service with their visit to the physical store? Retailers may be missing a key component to provide a seamless customer experience: pristine communication on the sales floor.
Your store associates are your secret weapons to creating an exceptional customer experience, so make it your job to equip them to handle all situations on the store floor. Apparel Magazine says the personal shopping experience behind the scenes is the connected associate. Think about it from a customer’s point of view; if store employees have no way to communicate with each other or with store managers, no way to quickly provide assistance, there is a good chance you’re not leaving the store a chipper shopper.
Retailers, it’s time to become strategic. Put yourself ahead of the curve by investing in the right technology for your employees. Connecting the digital and physical world to create pleasant and easy experiences for customers is your golden ticket.
Let’s play out a few familiar scenarios:
- A Staples store associate in the cash office is summoned via a loud up front only to find out the cashier needed extra change. UGH! So, he turns right back around to walk all the way back to the cash office and then returns to front of the store. Save the extra workout for the gym. Two-way radios make it possible to quickly answer a question without using an overhead page. Eliminate those wasted footsteps and overall lack of productivity.
- A customer, who has a question about a product, approaches a Foot Locker The associate has to leave the customer only to come back and say the store is out of that particular shoe. Shocker. With a two-way radio, store associates can quickly ask another associate in the area to check availability without leaving the customer. They may be able to up sell and increase their basket size in that saved time. When a customer is abandoned, there could be a percentage of sales lost as well.
- At the front register at Columbia Sports, a sudden line of five people appears and someone checking out has a question about the price. The cashier then holds up the already antsy customers, causing more irritation to woman who just wanted to buy socks. Cashiers can use a two-way radio to quickly page a nearby associate to come assist with the question, instead of holding up the cashier’s line or call for an additional cashier.
- While this may not be as familiar to you personally, it is a scenario which happens all too often in retail stores. During those busy times of the year, with high volumes of customers and the perfect time for store associates to become easily distracted, loss prevention can become a hurdle. Someone slides the nearest pair of jeans into their bag thinking they will get away with it without anyone noticing (happens all too often). By arming your employees with two-way radios and alert buttons, you now have personal security systems.
What do all these scenarios have in common? By using two-way radios, managers and employees were able to save wasted steps. By efficiently answering questions and solving problems, managers and employees can use those steps for other important tasks that would otherwise be missed due to customer needs.
A Motorola study found that using two-way radios saved retail associates five minutes per hour of wasted time. Imagine the amount of work that could be done if each employee had an extra five minutes per hour and the possible cost savings. Simple math shows a time saving of 40 minutes per day, 2.8 hours per week. When multiplied by an average associate fee of $9.25 per hour, that’s $25.9 per associate per week. If you employ 20 associates, your total cost saving is approximately $27K per year, per store.
Consumers are needy and demanding. Embrace it. Between improved loss prevention, discrete communication of suspicious activity, and improved customer service, those demands can be met and overall productivity will begin to increase.