Case Study |
HALFORDS

Driving teamwork with Halfords

We’re helping Halfords work together, reduce theft and serve customers faster across 460 stores.

THE BIG PICTURE

At Halfords, journeys are important

Founded as ironmongers in 1892, today Halfords is the UK’s leading motoring, cycling and leisure products retailer. Having captured one-third of the UK bicycle market, they have opened 465 new sites since 2010.

We helped them find a better way to grow

Halfords wanted to invest in a communications system to meet the challenges of growth, prevent inefficiencies that come with increased demand and improve their customer experience along the way. Most Halfords stores have a large footprint and with auto fitters now working outdoors, VoCoVo enables colleagues to communicate between different areas, coordinate to fight theft and resolve customer queries faster than ever.

“VoCoVo allows us to work on customers’ cars outside, whilst still being fully connected to the rest team. It’s completely changed the way we work.”

Tom James  |   Store Manager

VoCoVo’s impact

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Theft is down

With VoCoVo, colleagues can coordinate to detect threats, raise the alarm discreetly and prevent theft as a team.

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Customer experience is up

VShoppers are happier because they can get help on-demand, queues are moving faster and tannoys reduced by up to 100%.

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Colleagues feel supported

Team members can talk to each other, ask questions, share their expertise and learn on-the-go from wherever they are.

GETTING STARTED

The Challenge

Halfords has continued to grow, opening 465 new stores since 2010. But this expansion came with its own challenges:

  • Shop floor colleagues and auto fitters had no reliable way to keep in touch.

  • Theft was an ongoing problem, with the potential to increase with growth.

  • Customer experience was suffering due to noisy tannoys and colleagues covering larger areas.

Communication blockers

With their Auto Fitters now fitting parts to customers’ cars outside already large-footprint stores, Halfords needed a reliable communications solution to keep team members connected between their shop floors, stock rooms and car parks. But there was a hitch — their traditional walkie-talkie system only worked inside the store. Every time an Auto Fitter working outdoors wanted to ask a question, request a part or let a customer know their car was ready, they’d have to down tools and go into the store to find a colleague who could help.

For the new setup to work, Auto Fitters and shop floor colleagues needed reliable two-way communication. A way to work as a team without interrupting the task at hand or leaving customers waiting.

Theft prevention

Rapid growth also meant more potential for thieves to target high-value items like bikes, car accessories and smart tech. Halfords wanted to prevent thefts before they happened and deal with them discreetly, but the only way colleagues had to raise the alarm was with a store-wide tannoy announcement. Not only were these noisy broadcasts not confidential, but customers didn’t like them and overall, they made for a jarring experience in stores.

Customer experience

With more colleagues working and stores physically growing, Halfords wanted to make sure customers received the same great service they’d come to expect. This meant finding ways to speed up service, reduce queuing times and keep customers moving. For example, to avoid lines building up at self-service points, shoppers needed to be able to request assistance easily without having to search for a colleague.

INTRODUCING VOCOVO

Our Solution

To help Halfords fight these inefficiencies, we equipped each store with a VoCoVo Enterprise solution with a Controller, customer Call Point and a Headset for every member of the team. 

Call Points to streamline customer service

We installed Call Points at several self-service stations where customers could order custom number plates. Now when a customer needs help, they can alert a member of the team at the touch of a button. Colleagues can respond quickly even if they’re working in another area of the store, with the option to chat to the customer remotely via their VoCoVo Headset. This means small queries can be resolved almost instantly and if a colleague does need to attend in person, they’re already working on a solution while they’re on their way. 

As well as improving customer experience by keeping queues moving faster, Halfords have used our Call Points to add new opportunities for upselling so fewer customers leave empty-handed. 

Headsets for natural communication and theft prevention

The real game-changer for the team? Our lightweight VoCoVo Headsets. With full-duplex speech technology, colleagues can have natural, two-way conversations on-the-go. For example, two colleagues can chat while one collects a part from the stockroom and their teammate helps a customer on the forecourt. If they need to chat with their wider team, they can jump on a VoCoVo conference and speak to everyone seamlessly, just like they’re in the same room. 

The Results

Halfords colleagues can now talk to each other, help customers and carry out simple tasks like stock checks remotely from their VoCoVo Headset. Instead of abandoning customers to get help from a senior colleague, team members are getting answers and resolving queries on the spot, making the experience hassle-free for both sides. And because VoCoVo doesn’t rely on Wi-Fi, teams can count on reliable connectivity and effortless conversations, whether they’re working inside on the shop floor or fitting parts to customer cars outside. Theft is down and team members feel safer too since they’re always connected no matter where they’re working.

 

  • More efficient and motivated teams. Colleagues can share expertise, get answers and check stock instantly from their VoCoVo Headsets, without leaving their customers waiting.

  • Improved customer experience and reduced queuing times. Customers are happier with their overall experience because they can press a Call Point to get help quickly, queues are moving faster and tannoy announcements have been reduced.

  • Reduced weekly losses and safer stores. Individual team members can detect potential threats, raise the alarm discreetly and coordinate with their team to prevent thefts without putting themselves at risk.

  • A significant drop in tannoy broadcasts (100% in some stores). Customers can browse, shop, and chat with colleagues without being interrupted by irrelevant tannoy announcements. Security is tighter too because all team communications stay confidential.

 

Room to grow

Halfords has seen tremendous value in VoCoVo’s capabilities and the potential to expand their solution to keep improving customer experience. Their next steps will be to integrate VoCoVo with their telephone system, so colleagues can handle incoming calls from customers like “Have you got this bike in stock?” or updates from Head Office straight from their Headsets. Store colleagues will also be able to make outgoing calls, for example, to let a customer know that their bike has been repaired and is ready for collection — another huge step towards a seamless customer experience.

We’ve helped Halfords build an informed, connected and more empowered workforce. Their tailored VoCoVo solution has made it easier for teams to upsell, build trust with customers, and stay vigilant against security threats. Looking to navigate the challenges that come with growth and expansion? Get in touch with our team to find out how VoCoVo can help.

Start your journey towards a better connected team