If you work in retail, you won’t be surprised to learn that your job features a lot of walking. A 2012 study found that retail colleagues take an average of 14,460 steps per day. This makes retail the third most active profession, with only nurses and waiters spending more time on their feet.
Traditional forms of retail communication require colleagues to cross the store for a variety of reasons. Maybe you have to roam the aisles in search of a knowledgeable colleague to answer a customer query. Maybe a customer wants to know if an item is in stock, so you trek to the stockroom and back. Whatever the reason for your travels, these lost minutes add up over the course of the day.
This is tiring for colleagues and customers alike. Studies show that waiting times feel longer when customers feel anxious or unsure of what is happening. Waiting alone, while a colleague leaves in search of information will dampen a customer’s experience.
Colleagues are also frustrated by unnecessary walking. Last year we surveyed retail colleagues about the challenges they faced. References to excessive walking cropped up over and over again:
- 26% said that trying to find information for customers was the biggest cause of inefficiency.
- A further 26% said that searching for coworkers was a major waste of time.
Poor communication means more walking
Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, colleagues were often physically distant. In larger stores, it is not uncommon for colleagues to spend the majority of the day working alone. Traditionally stores use a tannoy system to summon colleagues to a certain area, but this still requires a lot of walking. Furthermore, tannoys only allow for one way communication. If a colleague is unable to respond to the announcement, they have no way of making this known.
It is also common for colleagues to be tied to a particular department, but these boundaries mean little to customers. This means that colleagues are often asked for information which requires them to visit another part of the store. All of this uses up precious time.
VoCoVo puts everyone within reach
VoCoVo is designed to help with these problems:
- Headsets allow colleagues to communicate clearly wherever they are. Colleagues can request information, check stock levels and call for assistance without leaving their position.
- Call Points connect customers to colleagues at all times. You can answer customer queries remotely without pausing your work. If you don’t know the answer, you can transfer the customer to someone who does without having to track them down.
- Keypads allow checkout colleagues to request help without leaving the till. Simply choose the help category you require and an automated message is sent to nearby colleagues. Colleagues can answer remotely or, if personal assistance is required, the nearest person can attend.
Walk less, save more
Our studies show that VoCoVo can reduce walking distance by an average of 1.4km per colleague per day. If you pay £9 an hour, you will save £442 per week per store, or £22,995 per year. This is in addition to the many other ways in which VoCoVo saves you money, such as increasing task efficiency and allowing you to unman self-checkouts. To find out more about the benefits of VoCoVo, give us a call.