How we reduce associate travel time by 1600 yards every day

Walking is a major cause of inefficiency in stores. VoCoVo puts information at your fingertips, so you can walk less and work more.

Article by Aaron Copestake | 6th June 2022

Walking may be great exercise, but it’s not so great for customer service. The more associates are forced to walk, the less time they have to serve customers. Our products are designed to cut travel time so you can focus on the things that matter. 

Too much walking is bad for business

Retail associates are some of the most active in the world. A recent survey from Australia found that retail was the third most active profession, with only waiters and nurses taking more steps per day. This effect is likely to be even greater in the US due to the sheer size of American stores. The USA has an estimated 23 square feet of retail space per person, compared to five in the UK and just 2.4 in Germany. 

You may think that walking long distances to find information for customers is an example of great service, but shoppers don’t see it that way. Many are frustrated with the time it takes to solve queries, and some will even leave the store as a result:

  • 26% of shoppers typically have to wait more than three minutes to have a question answered
  • 26% will leave the store if they have to wait more than five minutes
  • 54% of customers will now search for information on their phone rather than asking an associate for help

Customer priorities have changed. Find out more here:

More talking, less walking

We recently asked associates to name the biggest challenges they face at work.  They were well aware that excessive walking is bad for customer service:

  • Over a quarter said that finding information for customers was the greatest cause of inefficiency
  • A further 26% said that searching for other associates was the biggest problem

Read the full report here:

We also asked associates to suggest ways the situation could be improved:

  • 47% said that better communication would increase their productivity
  • 39% said they could provide better customer service if they could communicate with associates more easily

Both the problem and the solution are clear. Associates are spending too much time walking around in search of information. They need a reliable way to communicate without speaking face to face. This is where VoCoVo can help. 

Information at your fingertips

VoCoVo lets associates and customers communicate from anywhere in store. Our headsets use full-duplex technology, meaning that remote conversations feel as natural as face to face chats. This simple change puts an end of unnecessary walking:

  • Associates can contact the stockroom at the press of a button. This lets you check the status of a customer’s order without having to walk there and back. 
  • Headsets let you find information for customers without leaving their side. If you don’t know the answer to a question, you can ask another associate without having to track them down. 
  • Call points allow customers to call for help without searching for an associate. Upgrading to two-way call points lets you answer customer questions via your headset, saving you the walk to their location. 

All of this means less walking for associates and less waiting for customers. Our research shows that installing VoCoVo will save the average associate around 1600 yards of unnecessary walking each day. This time can be put to better use, increasing efficiency and improving customer service.