Transforming stores at Dunelm

Connecting teams in 170 stores across the UK.


The UK’s leading home furnishing retailer

Since first opening its doors at their inaugural superstore in Rotherham in 1991, Dunelm have come a long way on a journey lined with challenges that include economic bubbles and the explosion of e-commerce. Having established themselves as a trusted brand in home furnishings, they’ve now cultivated well developed online presence while growing to over 169 stores now operating throughout the UK.

With awareness of the challenges that this growth presents and with further growth ambitions in mind. Dunelm came to VoCoVo to look at the options available for better leveraging communication as a means of strengthening the backbone of operations and, in doing so, reaping the commercial benefits of creating cost efficiencies, reducing and opportunity costs, while also gaining critical operational insights in the long term.

VoCoVo’s Impact

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198% quicker service for customers

Dunelm teams felt that they could serve customers twice as fast with VoCoVo.

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Improved team dynamic and morale

Commend and congratulate a Store, Region or colleague through VoCoVo. Boasting colleague morale, driving teamwork and creating happier teams.

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Higher quality of operational oversight for managers

VoCoVo allows Store Managers and Area Managers to deliver daily direction and keep staff engaged through regular updates and briefings.

What was the Dunelm issue?

With more and more stores in operation, an increasingly busy sector and the game-changing element of online commerce-plus other big players pushing for greater market share. Dunelm identified several areas of creeping inefficiencies and redundancies that needed to be addressed in order to maintain an upward curve.

At the micro level, busier sites and greater strain on shop floor staff to meet customer demands meant that incoming phone enquiries were becoming harder to tend to with staff finding themselves spread thin across the store serving in-house customers. A high volume of missed calls could grow into a real problem of missed selling opportunities with a potentially negative knock on effect on brand perception.

Besides the emergent ‘missed calls’ issue, Dunelm had also witnessed an increase in theft and ‘trolly dashes’ losing, in some instances 100s of pounds worth of high value, premium-brand products each week. The potential commercial impact of this pattern spread across the entire network of stores couldn’t and wouldn’t be ignored.

So what did VoCoVo do?

The first phase was to assess the floorspace across a typical Dunelm store in order to prescribe a VoCoVo setup robust enough to give reliable coverage for a large number of customer CallPoints and telephony-enabled headsets, for on-the-go call answering or transfer, that would move across large floor plans and throughout different floors with structural insulators that might dampen the signal—all without compromising on crystal-clear and uninterrupted two-way communication.

The solution proposed was VoCoVo’s more advanced setup that includes two base units for ample coverage plus a single controller unit—for phone integration and use of multiple conference channels—able to service up to 1000 devices simultaneously. These may be a combination of team headsets and peripheral hardware such as VoCoVo KeyPads and Call Points that can be used for staff-facing, or customer-facing applications. 

Of these peripheral extras, Dunelm currently operate the customer Call Points that are peppered across difficult-to-man areas in stores for upselling opportunities, or alongside product displays prone to causing decision paralysis through an abundance of choice. 

And what were the outcomes?

Dunelm have felt a significant and tangible impact of the VoCoVo install which started as a trial incentive across select stores, now broadened into a nationwide rollout owing to the success of the test-phase.

The new Call Points dotted throughout stores mean customers are empowered and able to hail attendants with a simple button-push that is then translated to voice transmitted as a message into any number of pre-configured headsets. The opportunity-cost of customers walking out empty-handed, caught in uncertainty or decision paralysis, has been greatly reduced.

With conferencing in place via the VoCoVo controller, supervisors and managers are now able to address all individuals within certain teams and departments simultaneously, and separately so that a single message can be delivered once by a single person, to be received and understood by the relevant people, without need for ‘messengers’ or repetition. 

Anecdotal reports also show that losses from theft and ‘tolly dashes’ are down with colleagues now able to identify and alert others to potential theft situations without placing themselves in harm’s way—security monitoring is now second nature and ingrained across the workforce.