We all know the customer is an important part of your business. Without the customer, you don't see any sales. As a result, they are a critical factor when developing your marketing messaging and strategy. It’s a general truth whereby retailers have dedicated and invested immensely. Ubiquitous titles like Head of Customer Experience and Director of Client Experience are popping up at the most innovative and thriving retail companies.
Retailers are once again getting to know customers as individuals – and it’s something worth celebrating, but are we missing opportunities by not doing the same for our employees?
The explosion in personalisation, pursuing loyalty, customised delivery, added flexibility and other modern retailing practices prove that e-commerce and traditional retail brands alike know just how essential it is to put the customer at the centre of all. Retailers make every stride to put the customer first. Yet have we forgotten that up to half of the in-store customer experience involves retail employees? And especially since the pandemic there have been many recent retail worker/employer relationship challenges and a loss of trust.
Recent retail employment research suggests that high turnover in retail employment may be impacted not only by salary but also by management recognition and treatment.
It is highly possible that in failing to engage and build exceptional relationships with employees, retailers are risking the very investments they are making to help them appease and bring back their customers.
As retailers invest to inform and understand our customers better, deploy tools to make things more convenient for them, are we forgetting to inform and understand employees? Are the demands of competitive differentiation, profitability, and the need to deliver ever faster and more flexibly to customers simply crowding out the needs of the staff on which we depend?
A Formula for Employee Success
In order to avoid threats to one’s retail reputation, retailers must acknowledge that their workforce is as central to brand success as their customers. They must ensure that their staff play an active and positive role in building brand relationships with shoppers and customers. Here are the keys to making that happen:
- Engage your employees - Goalplan develops and empowers through knowledge – employees need to understand how to succeed at a deep level: they need rich and up-to-date information about their activity. They must be knowledgeable about their company too: a culture of greater transparency helps sustain a positive employee experience. It can range from ensuring the regularity of management communications to making information more available on demand through apps that workers can access via mobile devices.
- Provide Support, Not Just Salary - all sorts of things can go wrong when employee expectations and employer actions don’t meet in the middle, and that includes communication and information expectations. Whether you have ten employees or ten thousand employees in your charge, it's just as important to support your customers as it is to support your employees individually. Today’s workforces are comprised of mobile and connected individuals very used to the ease of interaction and accessibility they get from a mobile platform. They expect the same from their employers, who need to pay as much attention to the timeliness, responsiveness and flexibility of service they deliver to staff as they do to customers.
Revolutionising Employee Relationships
With high employee turnover being an inescapable challenge for the frontlines of retail, factors such as enablement, autonomy to your store's frontline employees, without compromising the accessibility to management support, a sense of trusted community, and personal development are the keys to keeping ahead.
If retailers are to reap all the rewards that are sought after from business transformation and digital technology, it may be time to revisit the needs of frontline employees as critical enablers of the customer experience. Frontliners are our key to sales growth.
Modern employee relationships for retail require a new approach, and an investment as serious as the customer experience. One thing is evident: procuring the platforms and processes
that help create an informed and committed workforce that has the flexibility they need to work efficiently is as deserving of effort and investment as is the challenge of engaging with customers.
In Salesforce’s recently released Connected Shoppers Report
, they found that 44% of consumers feel they know more about a product than the store associate - that sounds like a failure and a missed opportunity on the part of employers to engage efficiently and proactively with their employees.
In today’s modern retail business, maintaining brilliant brand experiences for customers depends on every interaction being easy and effortless. There is so much competition, success rests not solely on the platforms we choose or the technical ease of interaction, but on the interactions of people and their perceptions that come along with that. Tracking progress, the ability to reach your team with ease and communicating information are the cornerstones of a successful organization. Why not make the experience for your workforce just as easy and effortless?
Keen to find out more about how Goalplan supports the survival of physical stores? Schedule a demo with us today!