Article by VoCoVo’s Sales & Marketing Director and ‘bricks and mortar’ advocate—Martyn Jones

When it comes to creating value from answering customer queries, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel—you just make the wheel from better materials and you make it faster.

The context is always the same…

the customer asks a question raising a need. There are two outcomes: you can either satisfy the need, or you can’t.

Each outcome holds potential value. Customers will often forgive retailers even if the need isn’t 100% met—provided they receive confident, honest information fast that helps progress their query.

At the proof of concept stage, stats are collected on clients’ store performance before and after. Here are the aggregated results across all client proof-of-concepts. Customer query response times averaged out at 198% faster when VoCoVo was in the mix empowering teams and customers… in some cases, over 3x faster. Imagine that at scale.


Serving a Market of ‘One’

When customers query store assistants, that single customer in that moment is the market; and your workforce has the opportunity to add store, brand and customer value by…

Making the sale—store/brand & customer value

Offering a better, next-best alternative—store/brand & customer value

Offering practical product advice—brand & customer value

Offering advice on where to purchase—brand & customer value

Every customer query should add value of some kind to store, brand, customer or a combination. As we’ll see, failure to convert value comes more from lack of speed than from ‘not knowing’.


‘Convenience’ is still King

It’s no secret that as consumers we prize ‘convenience’. 

However, with consumer trust in retailers falling from 16% to 7% between 2014 and 2016, it’s fair to say that that retail is consistently dropping the ball not capturing the value add of customer query moments. 

The Deloitte 2016 Consumer Review study behind these findings claims that, of all participants making purchases in the previous three months…

51% bought in-store, ordered in-store for delivery, or ordered online and collected in-store and 28% purchased online with delivery—with the remaining 21% choosing a combination of online and delivery on one device-type or other, and to one location or another.

We can take from this that over half of the study sample found reason to set foot in-store and interact store assistants—so the the customer query, ‘value-add moments’ are still there—retailers just aren’t empowering the workforce to capture the value.


Releasing the Power of ‘Voice’ 

This is a second generation, ear-mounted edition of s smart headset range…

Think of them as the evolution of the walkie-talkie, or a Swiss army knife for retail. A single, multi-purpose device for tackling all tasks across store, backroom and warehouse. 

With 48 hours plus talk-time, multi-conferencing, telephony integration and ‘virtual assistant’ voice commands, these clever little things have the power to transform how your retail workforce delivers customer value, and captures store value by removing friction from the customer journey, all with the magic of ‘voice’.

Imagine the possibility.

Serving customers the regular way…

Customer: “Hey, I’ve seen these online but wanted to get hands-on. I wonder if you have one to try?”

Assistant: “Sure, let me go find one. I’ll be right back.”


5 minutes pass…
The customer gets cold feet and leaves empty-handed to go elsewhere or order online. You’ve lost them for good and no store or customer value has been created.


Serving customers the  way.


Customer:
“I’ve seen these online but wanted to get hands-on. I wonder if you have one to try?”

Assistant: “Just one moment.” *Pushes to talk* “Stock room, do we have item #463 to bring out for a customer demo?”

Stock room: “Yes, we do… I’ll bring one right out for the customer to try”.


Just one minute later…
The customer is getting hands-on and makes the purchase with confidence. Good work! You just created store and customer value in a fraction of the time.


One device, a world of possibility…

 Remove friction from the customer journey
   Faster response times, lower empty-handed walkouts
  More store, brand and customer value

This is just the start…

Curious to know what else can do?

If you’re thinking about workforce transformation and store operations and want some honest, advice, our teams will get hands-on in your stores to identify and alleviate known, and even unknown operational gremlins in single or multiple stores before testing a sensible, feet-on-the-ground setup right for the circumstances. Now is the time to lock-in the operational incentives that will ensure a successful transition into the new picture of shifting consumer expectation.

Customers won’t wait around, and neither should retailers.

Connect me via LinkedIn

Martyn Jones