UK stores are getting bigger. The average retail floor space grew 34% between 2008 and 2014, with many large chains choosing to move to out of town retail parks. The popularity of these locations dipped in the mid 2010s, but then the pandemic happened.
While high street footfall plummeted, retail parks were more resilient. Overall footfall fell by 73%, but retail parks only lost 25% of their customers. Shoppers felt safer in an out of town space, and this preference looks set to continue. A 2021 survey found that 7.4% of customers plan to visit retail parks more often as a result of the pandemic.
Large stores are a mixed blessing
Superstores have many advantages. More square footage means a greater product selection and the ability to serve more customers. But large stores can also cause problems. A bigger floor space means that colleagues have to walk long distances to find information for customers. This is frustrating for everyone involved, as our recent surveys have showed:
- 39% of colleagues are looking for ways to serve customers faster
- Over a quarter of customers typically wait more than three minutes to have a query answered
- 20% of customers would be more likely to shop in stores that provided instant access to product information
Better communication is the key to solving this problem, with more than half of colleagues considering it the best way to improve productivity. This is where we can help.
Information on demand
Our headsets allow colleagues to contact each other at the push of the button. This makes a huge difference to customer service:
- Colleagues can find information for customers without leaving their side. If a customer has a complex question, colleagues can use our conference feature to talk to an in-store expert.
- Headsets link the floor team to the stockroom at all times. Colleagues can check on the status of a customer’s order without walking to another part of the store.
- Call points allow customers to get help without searching for a colleague. You can place these strategically in areas where customers are most likely to need additional information.
Say goodbye to checkout delays
Customer frustrations don’t end with picking out a product. Paying for items is also a common cause of stress, with 22% of customers naming checkout delays as a major annoyance. We focused heavily on this when designing our products, and the results are clear:
- Keypads allow checkout colleagues to call for help without leaving their position. Colleagues can specify the nature of their problem by pressing the relevant button, and then continue serving while they wait for assistance.
- Our API software lets you link headsets to self-checkouts. Colleagues will receive automatic notifications about errors and authorisations when customers need assistance, allowing them to respond as soon as possible.
- Smart cameras can be linked to headsets to help with queue management. Cameras can alert colleagues when a queue starts to build, allowing you to open another position before waiting times get out of hand.
Faster service means happier customers
This all sounds great in theory, but does it improve the customer experience? To find out, we went straight to the source. Here’s what customers had to say after VoCoVo was installed:
- More than nine times as many customers felt that help was easily available
- Customers were 63% more satisfied with queuing times
- Customers were three times as confident that colleagues could help them
- Customers were 150% happier with waiting times
When people are connected, distance is no object. Whatever the size of your store, we can help you to bring a personal touch to customer service.