Why Empowering Store Associates is the New Customer Experience

February 21, 2017Perry Kuklin

Customer experience has been the name of the game for quite some time. "It's all about the customer experience!" has been the battle cry of businesses across a wide spectrum of industries, and perhaps most notably in retail. And we absolutely agree. The technologies and solutions you employ should be designed with an eye toward your customers and the experience they have navigating your store or facility environment, and especially your queues.

But customer experience is ALSO about the store associate experience. Why? Because when you empower store associates (or any service employee for that matter) to be more efficient, productive, and engaging with customers, you can immediately impact the customer experience.

So, how can store associates become more empowered in terms of service delivery? Here are some ideas:

1. Give associates visibility into customer traffic

Having visibility to customer traffic allows service to better align with demand. With the technology that delivers real-time footfall analytics into the hands of associates, they can quickly see how many people are waiting in line and how long they are expected to wait. Based on this information, staff working elsewhere can be routed for front-line service when needed, and then sent to perform other tasks when demand at the front is low. Associates can also assist by engaging people in the waiting line by suggesting upsells or generally keeping their expectations in check, or by recommending alternative queues in other areas of the store.

2. Give associates visibility into customer information and preferences

Having visibility to customer information empowers associates to know in advance what the customer needs are, and to assign the most appropriate person for service. This information can come directly from the customer when they register into the waiting line via a virtual queuing system or it can come from a customer information system that delivers insights on past purchases and preferences associates can use to tailor their service delivery.

3. Automate queuing-related functions

Automating hailing, customer routing, alerts, and other functions can create efficiencies, faster service, and shorter waits. For example, analytics and queuing technologies can be set up to automatically:

  • Send customers to areas that have shorter waits
  • Send service agents to areas that have higher demand
  • Allocate service resources in an optimal way
  • Send alerts to open/close service positions

The result of automation? Associates are empowered to spend less time routing customers and more time serving customers.

Today’s service and sales associates are on board to provide an excellent customer service experience. Today’s queuing technology solutions can help them do just that. How will you empower your store associates this year?

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