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How Technology Can Improve Customer Service – Part 1

Over the next two weeks we will look at how technology can be used by retailers to improve customer service. Here in part one, we discuss how to keep staff fully trained when facing a high level of employee turnover.

The challenge of the regular churn of shop floor staff is faced by many retailers; there are many seasonal vacancies, temporary employees and people looking to ‘fill a gap’ working in shops. Often they have not been given the same training and knowledge as their long serving colleagues and rely on word of mouth passed from one departing member of staff to another.

That institutional memory and experience of long standing staff is invaluable, but can soon become highly watered down. Staff should be valued, nurtured and invested in to ensure that best practice is maintained, in terms of understanding how the store runs and the impact they have on customer service – all while passing ‘good’ knowledge to the newer members of a team.

What are the benefits of investing in your staff’s ability to use technology?

Not only can well-rounded and developed retail staff keep customers happy, but a motivated workforce can improve and maintain store performance, as well as uplift conversion rates.

Technology is also increasingly playing a part in helping retail staff maximize performance; staff scheduling, appointment bookings and store layout can all be transformed to positively impact the customer experience using real time statistics and data.

The retailers that invest in both their people and tools to support staff are able to deliver a value added service in store, and therefore, will be the ones that keep shoppers coming back to the high street. The other point to remember is the health of your online offering is often dependent on your in-store experience.

Courses such as those found at the Ipsos Retail Performance Training Academy provide retailers with the opportunity to deliver real learnings and teachings based on in store data from experienced and seasoned retail experts.

Training staff to utilize technology can add another facet to the personable, reactive customer service the majority of customers are looking for. Retail staff should be seen as an investment and, by providing adequate training, the use of technology and data can unlock their true potential.

Next week, in part two, we will be looking at how technology can enable staff to thrive on the shop floor and offer a personalized and reactive service to customers.

Why not check out our blog ‘The importance of customer relationship management in retail‘ for more ideas on improving the customer experience.