We recently carried out a huge survey of associates and retail decision makers from across the UK, North America and Germany. Our aim was to discover the main reasons for in-store delays so that we could help stores to speed up their service. The results are now in, and they give us a clear picture of what’s slowing stores down:
- 40% of associates are struggling with staff shortages
- 76% are being forced to juggle multiple tasks
- 30% don’t feel that they’ve received adequate training to use in-store technology effectively
Since the pandemic forced millions to shop online, customers have come to expect immediate service, and instant answers to their questions. This puts tremendous pressure on associates, especially when stores are short-staffed. Luckily, we can help. Our voice technology allows you to improve associate knowledge and reduce customer waiting times. Here’s how it works.
Associates want better communication
Our research shows that associates are facing several problems at once. A lack of staff is forcing them to multitask, leading to a decline in overall efficiency. At the same time, customers have become more demanding, expecting associates to have accurate information at their fingertips.
This is a tricky situation, but there is an answer. 43% of associates told us that smart technology would help them to serve customers faster. When we asked for specifics, almost a third said that portable communication devices were the best approach. Enter VoCoVo…
The best way to avoid delays is to make sure that associates don’t have to search for information in the first place. That’s why it’s vital to offer comprehensive training to new recruits. This has traditionally taken place in a classroom, forcing you to remove an experienced associate from the shop floor to lead the session. Now, there’s a better way:
- Our headsets can be used to provide hands-on training to multiple associates. Experienced team members can perform their normal duties while simultaneously explaining them to new hires.
- This kind of training has been shown to speed up onboarding by 87%, and to improve associate retention by 50%.
No matter how good your training, there will still be times when associates are stumped by a question. In order to avoid customer frustration, you need to make sure that associates can find this information as quickly as possible. Once again, VoCoVo has the answer:
- Associates can use headsets to find information without leaving the customer’s side. If a customer has a question about stock, the associate can contact the stockroom at the press of a button. If they want product information, the associate can call an in-store expert without tracking them down.
- Our multi-conference feature allows you to create separate channels for each store department. This allows associates to find specialized information by tuning into the relevant channel.
- Finding information in this way will save the average associate 1.4km of unnecessary walking per shift. As well as improving the customer experience, this also translates into a financial saving of over £440 a week.
Bridging the gap between customers and associates
Delays aren’t just caused by associates searching for other associates. There are also instances where customers struggle to find an associate in the first place. Fortunately, this is easily solved:
- Two-way call points can be placed in the areas of the store where customers are most likely to need assistance. Shoppers can press the call point to speak to an associate without having to search for them.
- Call points can also be placed on customer service and Click & Collect desks, allowing these customers to get help without joining the main queue.
Improving in-store knowledge means less stress for associates and better service for customers. Download our report to find out more.