Importance of communication must be explained and stressed beforehand to avoid any pitfalls at a later stage. Each staff is like a brick that forms any retailing and communication is the tool that binds them together. Whether it is the grass root level staff or the higher branch, a clear communication will not only ensure a transparent and clear flow of ideas and suggestions but also repair problems quickly. This in result will have the most positive effect on sales, satisfaction and bottom line.
“How to sell more, what ideas can be engaged to ensure customer loyalty?” may be the core predicament every retailer maybe struggling with and in the pursuit ignoring and overlooking the basics like the efficiency of communications between staff which may tell on other things like stock loss, long queues and bad customer service.
Improving Internal communication
Technology may improve communication, but traditional methods such as notice boards and staff magazines also still have their own place. The humble notice board and poster sites also have a role to play – providing their use is edited. We can’t put everything on the notice board but they are a great way to do quick, sharp messages by attracting everybody’s eyeballs.
Tackling stock loss/stock replenishment
Retail theft is a major concern for the majority of retailers and is also a problem for consumers because retailers may try to compensate that by way of add ons in shopping bill. According to a recent report an average of over Rs 10,000 crore worth of stock is lost each day amounting to Rs 120000 crore annually in India.
Security guards monitoring CCTV cameras can communicate instantaneously with the shop floor through a walkie-talkie and if a suspect is seen to enter the store, all staff can be made aware at the same time and act accordingly.” A visible system in use on the sales floor and at the checkout, signifying swift communication between staff, giving a significant boost to store security.”
Moreover, today technology can communicate immediately almost everything swiftly, be it the stock status or customers complain so that swift action can be taken. So, implement the technology if you haven’t already.
Improving customer service
Good communications can also manifestly improve the way retailers deal with their customers.
Effective communications speed up responses to customer queries and supervisor requests: “An effective communications system installed can improve customer service and the scan and increase the throughput of customers.
Checkouts are often tedious, price queries, more baskets and change can significantly slow down service at the plow as operators regularly have to wait for a supervisor response across the shop floor to grab their attention and ask for help which looks unprofessional and holds up the queue.
A technology with a messaging system that instantly sends specific requests direct to a team of supervisors who can then respond immediately, reduces the response time. Long queues are discouraging.
Often customers are left hanging around whilst staff try to find someone to deal with a query or they have to wander around aimlessly trying to find someone to speak to. These days it does not take long for customers to get frustrated and leave and stores cannot afford to lose custom in this way.
Every penny of investment has to deliver quantifiable benefits so it makes sense to consider how your staff are communicating because you could easily be losing customers and stock if you don’t get it right.
“A free flowing, transparent communication improves efficiency. Three should be a direct access to decision makers. Clear communication is vital not just on top level but in lower grade also”, T. Srinivas, founder of Scary House Entertainment avers.