Six tricks to improve communication

How communication impacts efficiency.

Article by Olivia Robinson | 2nd November 2021

With colleague absences likely to continue throughout the winter, you need to be sure that your team is working as efficiently as possible. Communication is the key to this. By allowing colleagues to share information and connect with customers, our system helps you to do more with less. Here’s how it works: 

Get information immediately 

In our recent survey, 26% of colleagues said that finding information for customers was the biggest cause of inefficiency. A further 26% said that they often wasted time searching for a more knowledgeable colleague. 

Customers are also frustrated by this. Over a quarter of shoppers regularly wait more than three minutes to have a query answered. If it takes more than five minutes, 26% will leave the store. 

Read the full report here

Our headsets solve this problem by putting information at your fingertips:

  • Contact in-store experts at the push of a button
  • Call the stockroom to check on orders without keeping the customer waiting
  • Set up conferences for specific areas of expertise 

By allowing you to access information from anywhere in store, our headsets can save each colleague 1.4km of unnecessary walking per shift. This translates into a monetary saving of £442 per week per store. 

Answer questions from anywhere 

Customers aren’t just frustrated by waiting for colleagues to find information. They also struggle to find colleagues in the first place. Almost 20% cite this as their biggest frustration with in-store shopping. 

This is where our call points come into their own:

  • Customers can press a call point to ask for help. This sends an alert to all nearby colleagues, telling them where the customer is. 
  • Colleagues can attend to the customer in person or answer the question directly via their headset. 
  • Call points can be placed on Click & Collect and customer service desks. This allows you to leave these positions unmanned during quieter periods. Colleagues can get on with other tasks without worrying about missing a customer. Removing one colleague from a desk can save you £594 per week per store. 

How much can VoCoVo save you? 

Take phone calls from the shop floor

There’s nothing more frustrating than being interrupted by phone calls while trying to complete a task. At the same time, ignoring these calls can be extremely costly. 85% of customers won’t call back a second time if you miss their call.

VoCoVo can be integrated with your telephony system, or can replace it altogether. This allows you to take incoming calls via your headset while continuing to work. By eliminating these interruptions, we can increase task efficiency by as much as 105 minutes per day.  

Authorise self-checkout purchases remotely

Self-checkouts exploded in popularity during the pandemic. This looks set to continue, with almost three quarters of customers planning to stick with the technology. 

Self-service may be efficient from a customer point of view, but it can be a burden for colleagues. 25% of self-checkout purchases require authorisation, and 80% of customers regularly need assistance when using the technology. This means that colleagues are tied to the self-checkout area all day, rushing back and forth between machines. In this situation, efficiency takes a major hit. Our research shows that manning a self-checkout area full time costs the average store over £30,000 per year. 

Luckily, there is a better way:

  • Our headsets can be integrated with your self-checkout machines. When assistance is required, an alert is sent to all nearby colleagues. 
  • The alert will tell colleagues the checkout number and the action that is required.
  • Colleagues can authorise purchases with a voice command from anywhere within sight of the checkout. This saves them the hassle of walking between positions. 
  • Improving efficiency on self-checkouts can save you over £700 per week per store. 

Find out more about remote self-checkout authorisation:

Keep checkout colleagues in the loop

Checkout colleagues often find themselves isolated and unable to call for help. If a colleague runs out of change or needs to replenish a till roll, they have no choice but to leave the checkout. 

This is frustrating for colleagues and customers alike. 47% of colleagues cite this as a major cause of inefficiency. 22% of customers say that checkout delays are the worst part of in-store shopping. 

We hate to see service hamstrung by something so basic. That’s why we invented our checkout keypads:

  • Checkout colleagues can press the keypad to call for help at any time. Multiple buttons allow them to specify the nature of their problem. 
  • This sends an alert to all colleagues, allowing the nearest to come and help.
  • Rather than abandoning their position, checkout colleagues can continue to serve while waiting for help to arrive. This increases efficiency and reduces customer frustration. 

Train new hires on the job 

You may be planning to bulk up your team this winter by making a few seasonal hires. This is a great way to increase colleague numbers at short notice, but it comes with a catch. New hires need to be trained. 

Removing an experienced colleague from the floor to conduct a training session is the last thing you want when stores are busy. We have the perfect solution: 

  • Our system allows you to take a hands-on approach to training. Experienced colleagues can perform their usual tasks while explaining them to new hires via their headsets.
  •  If new colleagues are unsure of something, they can use their own headsets to ask for clarification. 
  • Trainers and trainees can have natural two way conversations thanks to our full duplex technology. This gives training sessions a friendlier feel and makes it less daunting for new hires to ask questions. 

This is just a taste of the many ways in which VoCoVo can supercharge your customer service. We’ve got plenty more tricks up our sleeve, so get in touch today to find out more. 

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