Improving team productivity with the latest communication technology

Article by Olivia Robinson | 24th June 2019

Why productivity matters

If you enter a store without effective communication in place, you’ll notice something.

Team members are running around like bees, desperately looking for each other. They’re trying to fetch items, resolve queries and problem-solve all at once.

You might see customers left standing, waiting for someone to return.

This leads to the ‘I’ll get it online’ mentality that we’ve all succumbed to at times. Customer service failures are a big cause of sales losses, but they are preventable.


Source: ONS

This situation is frustrating for colleagues too. During a recent visit to the supermarket I waited 9 minutes for someone to return. Of course, most of us wouldn’t bother to time this delay, but something made me want to check. Would you have waited this long?

It’s my belief that there is a better way of doing things. Modern communication systems make tannoys, walkie talkies and loudspeakers obsolete.

Instead, colleagues talk to each other at the touch of a button. This leads to an improved, altogether more impressive service.

As well as better quality service, time savings add up. Typically, we see savings of 3 man hours per week in a small store, or 14-15 man hours in a bigger retail outlet. This translates quickly into increased profit and sales, as well as improved productivity.

In my mind, it’s vital that teams can talk instantly to improve their productivity and efficiency. It’s a win for the team and the customer.


When VoCoVo was first developed, we knew that business efficiency was a key driver for businesses. But our first customers reported something we hadn’t expected. The headsets did something wonderful for team spirit and safety.

When we first partnered with the Co-Op, safety was a huge concern in their stores. Smaller branches open late at night had concerns about staffing. Colleagues felt insecure at times, with no way of communicating without leaving the checkout.

Colleagues at the front of the store or in the warehouse were no longer frustrated: they could resolve queries or chat with their team. After we installed the devices, it became clear how important they would become to both team spirit and colleagues’ welfare.

The difference communication makes

Once you try a communication system, businesses can instantly see the difference it makes. That’s why we always offer proof of concept in store. Managers and colleagues can quickly see how the technology works and the impact it will make on their day-to-day.

‘VoCoVo have a very effective solution that’s appreciated and recognised as a key benefit by colleagues, helping to improve customer experience and drive efficiency in our business.’

John Street | Head of Business Transformation | The Midcounties Co-operative

‘Amazing system! We can communicate instantly with all our colleagues without having to search the whole store. Our customers also reap the benefits of being able to reach a member of staff for immediate assistance.’

Phil Thorpe | Assistant Manager | Pets at Home Stockport

It’s also not unusual for our technology to transform the way teams work. Through better interaction, teams find new ways of working. One of our European customers deployed call points throughout the store. Their teams were re-trained so that all staff felt competent answering requests from any department. This vastly impacted the number of customer requests being dealt with, and improved customer satisfaction.

Another of our large UK customers had a separate security conference added to their system. This enabled the security team to resolve potentially difficult situations that could escalate rapidly. With a targeted security presence, this could be diffused quickly.

Further benefits of communication technology are:

Improved staff availability

We measured team footsteps using pedometers during a recent proof of concept. The reduction in mileage was notable. Team members are more able to serve and help customers, rather than wasting time looking for other staff.

Improved customer service

As well as improved availability, better communication enables staff to multi-task. In the pioneering new ‘Jack’s’ stores by Tesco, staff can execute a number of functions thanks to increased mobility and communication.

Colleague safety

Colleague safety continues to be a massive issue in stores. In late-night convenience shops communication technology can play a huge part in both empowering and securing staff welfare.

At VoCoVo, we’re building on 25 years’ experience in retail communication. Our long-standing relationships with some of the UK’s top retailers proves we make a difference. Let us help you transform the way your teams work, get in touch today.

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