Today’s consumers expect more than great value and a seamless experience from their retailers. According to a recent Capgemini Consulting report, 57% of consumers want stores to become “social spaces” or to “provide learning and inspiration.”
Retail workers are a critical part of delivering on this expectation. Consumers must see them as highly approachable subject matter experts, eager to share their insights and authentic passion for the products they sell.
This is quite a challenge, since even the most passionate brand devotees won’t “know everything.” Here are 4 things that you as a manager can do to help.
1. Make information easily accessible on the store floor
Product information sitting in a document on a server is nearly useless. Customers are impatient. Looking things up on the computer “in the back” increases the likelihood of lost sales. On the other hand, leveraging employee smartphones puts product details, availability information, etc., in everyone’s pocket.
2. Leverage the whole team’s knowledge
An often under-appreciated asset of brick-and-mortar stores is the cumulative knowledge of their teams. This knowledge is invaluable, but you need to be able to tap into it quickly. Communication between employees needs to fit seamlessly into the customer shopping experience. Judiciously deployed mobile communication solutions solve this problem.
3. Elicit and reward proactive knowledge contributions
Don’t stop with your subject matter experts answering questions only when asked. Create a virtual space for your passionate workers to document and share relevant experiences, insights and observations. This could be customer feedback, competitor product research, or information about community events. Explicitly recognize and reward the best contributors. It’s just like social media, except unlike cat and baby pictures, this will help everyone do their jobs better.
4. Create a strong sense of community
According to research by Gusto, a payroll services provider, a strong sense of community in the workplace not only creates happier employees, but also improves employee retention. A strong community requires both a shared interest or passion and a repeated exchange of useful information. It can become a virtuous cycle: exchanging ideas builds community, community improves retention, which leads to more exchange of ideas. Employees and customers both win!
At Mazey we believe that easy access to organized information, simple task management and transparent communication help retailers excel in a hyper-competitive marketplace. Our product is being used at retailers across the country to improve customer experiences and to foster vibrant, engaged and passionate employee communities.