Building an estate is one of the greatest things a retailer can accomplish. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching your company grow from a single store into a nationwide chain. But this growth is not without challenges…
The bigger your estate, the harder it is to stay in contact with your stores. A lack of consistent communication can have a profound effect on everything from security to customer experience. Luckily, we can help. In this blog, we’ll explain how VoCoVo integrations can make even the largest estates feel like tight-knit communities.
Large estates can leave colleagues feeling isolated
A growing estate is great for business, but it can have a negative effect on colleague morale. Working for a major chain can be isolating, leaving colleagues feeling cut off from the decisions at head office. This was clear in our recent survey of retail colleagues:
- 31% of colleagues want more support from management
- Almost half want to be more involved in decision making
- 48% feel cut off from the wider goals of the business
It isn’t just a growing estate that can have this effect. Large individual stores can also make it difficult for colleagues to stay in touch
- 43% of colleagues struggle to contact other departments
- Almost half feel that in-store communication could be improved
Security is a major concern for colleagues
Security is another problem that grows along with stores. The bigger your store, the harder it is for security teams to effectively monitor the shop floor. This can lead to colleagues feeling unsafe:
- A third of colleagues feel vulnerable when they are unable to communicate with security
- A third feel unsafe when working alone
- 37% feel vulnerable when they are outnumbered by customers
Sadly, these concerns have grown in recent years. 88% of retail colleagues were verbally abused during the pandemic, and one in ten were physically assaulted. One in four retail workers are planning to quit their jobs, and ten percent of these cite customer abuse as the main reason.
Large stores often rely on a tannoy system to raise the alarm, but this is not always safe. A tannoy announcement is loud and public, putting the colleague making the announcement at risk. A public announcement also acts as an early warning for criminals, giving them a chance to escape before security arrives.
How VoCoVo compares to a tannoy system:
Distance is no object with VoCoVo
Growing your business shouldn’t have to come at the expense of employee wellbeing. VoCoVo connects your entire estate, so that support is never far away:
- Message cast lets head office send updates to multiple stores at once. You can tell employees about upcoming promotions and product recalls without having to wait for the next team meeting.
- Message cast can also be used to coordinate external and internal security teams. If the external team spots something suspicious, they can alert in-store security immediately. If thieves are operating in a certain area, they can warn all nearby stores at once.
- Headsets allow colleagues to contact security quickly and discreetly. Colleagues can report incidents without drawing attention to themselves, and security can respond without alerting criminals.
- Telephony integration lets colleagues call emergency services directly from the shop floor. You can even set up a voice command to do this automatically.
This makes a huge difference to morale. Our research shows that colleagues feel 54% safer and 25% more supported with VoCoVo.