If stores are temples to your brand, in the words of analyst and professor Scott Galloway, then your staff are the acolytes. They define how your customers interact with your brand, they are the medium for your message. Keeping staff engaged and happy is key to your brand perception, especially in an age where consumers are more spoilt for choice than ever and are becoming more conscious about working conditions amid flurries of headlines about zero-hours contracts and the like.
But I’m not writing to lecture retailers about their staff working hours or practices, because that’s not what I know about. What I do know is that providing staff with helpful technology that makes the mundane and frustrating parts of their job simple and intuitive is a highly effective shortcut to improving morale and the overall staff experience.
Click and Collect is a great proposition - if it's properly executed
You can find articles elsewhere on this blog where we’ve spoken about the trials and tribulations of home deliveries, and the risks involved there. One of the reasons Click & Collect is such an important and valuable service for retailers is that crucial level of control over the customer experience.
However, sometimes when I walk into stores to collect an order, it seems clear that I’m causing strife for the staff team in the store. They have to figure out what my order is, what it looks like in its packaging, get it out from under the pile of other ready to collect orders, scan it, type something in, ask for a collection code from me, get me to sign something, et cetera ad nauseam.
It’s dull and time consuming for them and for me. They’re having a poor staff experience, and that makes it hard for them to provide me with a great customer experience.
How to do your staff a big favour
What they need is a solution which helps sort out that havoc, something which simplifies the old-school paper and order number methods. Retail technology staff have to use should be as simple as the interfaces we all use as consumers in our daily lives – no more clunky technical screens and unintuitive sequences of menus. In their day-to-day lives away from work they're used to iPhones and smart TVs, but when they arrive at work they're working with tech from the 1990s.
In our work with retailers, the genuine reactions we get from store staff when they see the platform they will now be working with are amazing. In the world of B2B tech, we talk about pain points and solving problems so much that we risk forgetting the difference it can really make to the hard working staff who have to use these systems day-in and day-out. By extension, it makes a big difference to your customers’ experiences.