Improving security, customer experience and team communication across Dunelm’s estate


Connecting teams across 175 stores

Dunelm started in the late 1970’s as a home textiles stall and has since become a market leader in UK homewares. Today, Dunelm is a much-loved household name. The company ventured into manufacturing, grew its own range of products and launched a hugely successful physical and digital retail model featuring over 13,000 products.

Loved by shoppers across the country, Dunelm withstood the challenges of 2020 well, reporting a sales rise of 23% in the six months to December 2020. Dunelm is known for its friendly customer service and wide range of homeware products. Dunelm employs over 6,500 people today, and has stores across 175 locations.

Dunelm needed

Dunelm wanted a solution that facilitated instant and fluid conversations between stores, colleagues and customers. Communications relied on walkie talkies which were often sporadically located across a store.

Dunelm’s main goal was to answer queries as efficiently as possible. In addition to this was a need to integrate the solution with telephony, enabling colleagues to make and receive calls.

Dunelm also wanted to tackle in store theft, and potential abusive behavior. Protecting colleagues at work was paramount for Dunelm’s security team. Communications would need to support security measures, to ensure issues were dealt with quickly and discreetly.

Dunelm trialled a range of solutions but decided to work with VoCoVo due to the scope for development of integrations options across the estate, offering more flexibility for future growth.

Dunelm’s requirements

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Answer customer queries quickly, connecting front and backstage colleagues

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Improved colleague efficiency

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Security announcement functionality integrated with tannoy system

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User enrolment to headsets, personalised equipment

VoCoVo provided

VoCoVo introduced our ecosystem following a successful proof of concept. We placed five Headsets and up to two Handsets per location at first, but this requirement later increased to 15 devices depending on store size.

Dunelm’s Headsets and Handsets were integrated with telephony. Colleagues could patch through customer calls and make calls, for example to the tech support team or customer contact centre, enabling quicker support for colleagues and customers. Preventing incoming calls being missed and allowing mobile devices to be removed, bringing all communications under one device.

As the relationship developed, Dunelm’s usage of VoCoVo’s services increased. The ecosystem is now fully integrated with Click & Collect, used to great effect during the pandemic to speed up customer order collection. Message casting from head office was added, enabling teams to be updated instantly in the event of any incidents.

In 2021 Dunelm and VoCoVo worked to introduce a new security function. Colleagues could activate a PA announcement from their Headset, notifying all colleagues of a threat in store. This feature is unique to Dunelm and it has made a big impact to store security, empowering colleagues to deal with issues in a safe way.

The outcome

The introduction of VoCoVo communication technology had a significant impact on Dunelm’s shop floor teams. The teams now heavily rely on their Headsets throughout the day for a variety of tasks, including team meetings, dealing with Click & Collect enquiries, customer queries, receiving HQ updates and more.

As the relationship with Dunelm grew and changed, it’s been a delight to watch the teams embrace working together and using VoCoVo as a core part of their business. Introduced in 2021, the latest security innovation has been a big win for the Dunelm colleagues, and is a testament to the strength of our working relationship.

Snapshot of key findings

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Communication improved across the whole business.

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Instant communication across teams, between different departments and locations, facilitating a better customer experience.

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Message casting has transformed HQ store communication, who no longer rely on an internal portal or email notifications.

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Customer service increased and NPS scoring has lifted, as a result of providing customers with quicker service, without any waiting for queries.

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Headsets fully utilised during COVID-19 pandemic, to facilitate social distancing, efficient use of Click & Collect and increase morale of colleagues at work.

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New security features have empowered teams to face challenges at work, providing a solution that raises awareness of potential threats, without compromising colleague safety.

Dunelm Says; 

“Today, VoCoVo Headsets are one of the top used hardware in our stores. The store colleagues can collaborate easily and “can’t do without them”.

We chose to work with VoCoVo because of the scope for growth, and that has helped us develop new ways of working:

By using VoCoVo’s voice technology, Head Office has become instantly connected to the store colleagues. This has enabled information to be shared across the entire store estate all in one go.

For us, the security option brought in 2021 is fantastic. It enables colleagues to trigger an announcement when there may be a threat, and the feedback from stores has been hugely positive. It’s given teams confidence that something can be done to avoid a situation and protect colleagues.”

Fareeaa Hanslot, Service Support and Operations Manager, Dunelm

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