Ways technology empowers retail staff
By Shannon Ash, Rogerwilco - Oct 24th 2018, 10:50
The more technology changes, the more customer behaviours change too. So, in order to keep up with your customers’ needs, you need to empower your employees in a time of digital transformation.
Adapting to the latest technologies is an ongoing challenge for retail business owners and their employees. And the reason for this is that employees are not always geared to assist customers with these changes. Shoppers want a seamless in-store experience, much like an online interaction. If these tech-savvy customers are not able to achieve what they set out to do at the supermarket, they will become frustrated and choose to leave the store. This frustration leads to a drop in sales.
It’s easy to think that cutting labour costs will be the most realistic way to save money and keep your retail store afloat, but it’s not. Upskilling and empowering your employees with technology is. Gone are the days where retail employees were only expected to scan your products and request payment in return for their assistance. Today’s customers want knowledgeable, skilled staff members to assist them with their questions instead of having to turn to their mobile devices for the information they want and need.
If you can take the time to provide your employees with the technology and training they need to empower themselves, the return on investment (ROI) will be worth your effort.
Here are a few benefits of empowering your retail staff with technology.
Technology can offer access to instant information
It’s important for employees to be just as up to date with the latest innovations as customers are. As of now, customers rely on their mobile devices to find information. But if your staff were clued up on mobile trends, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and much much more, customers would be able to speak to the humans in the store and not feel the need to communicate via computers or smartphones.
Technology can increased employee productivity
Much like any customer-servicing department, there are always going to be tasks that are time-consuming and could be automated. This is particularly necessary for retail settings, allowing employees to have a more hands-on approach with their customers. Technology can be used to boost productivity in areas that matter so that employees can learn more about their retail environment and take initiative in their jobs. Being involved in a customer’s shopping experience will deliver impressive results.
Another tip for internal productivity is being able to use customer relationship management (CRM) systems and cloud-based programs to communicate with each other. A useful example of this would be to communicate shifts, lunch breaks and more. Managers or supervisors will be able to monitor these programs to see what their staff are up to at all times. Something as small as keeping each other in the loop of tasks and whereabouts will be able to improve employee productivity and efficiency.
Technology can assist with staff training
The goal is for retail employees to give customers the in-store experience they expect. With access to plenty of different technologies, employees are only but a few steps away from upskilling themselves without having to wait for managers to train them. From analysing the store’s layout to providing their customers with a personalised customer experience, on-the-job business training can help your employees feel satisfied and motivated to work harder. The more motivated they are, the better value they will add to your business. You can also improve your training process by hiring a professional business skills training company to help you identify the type of skills your employees need to improve on.
Mobile customer service solutions
Many retail stores have already adopted the concept of mobile payment within their stores. This is a massive help as customers don’t have to “waste” time standing in the line to pay. Employees can use this type of approach to show their customers that they’ve identified their frustrations and they’ve gone the extra mile to improve their experience. These programs and customer service opportunities are already available for employees to take advantage of. It’s simply about using them to empower your staff.
In such a competitive retail space, you need to leverage the latest technologies to enhance your customer experience. When employees feel that they have a purpose, they will go out of their way to be friendly and deliver a memorable experience for your customers. Creating a tech-savvy workforce will avoid customer frustration, and it will empower employees, knowing they can help their customers.
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