Strengthening the role of the human worker in retail
So, guess what! More and more organizations are recognizing that a great customer experience hinges on the human worker and they need to strengthen the role of their human workforce. One sector that is particularly keen on getting that done is the retail industry.
Yes, retail! So whatever happened to that ubiquitous omni-channel zeal, you may wonder. And what’s the matter with this best possible customer experience everyone had to be chasing after? Is that still on? It sure is.
Yet the answer is fairly obvious: All of the above depends on the employee who needs to make it happen. So that omni-channel approach still is a critical – if not vital – part on the to do lists of many retail businesses. Because many retailers believe that customers need to be able to stick to their channel of choice when they engage with the retailer. Even more so since most customers are not likely to differentiate between channels. Instead, they are looking for fast and reliable service that meets their needs. Whether they are in a brick and mortar store, purchase online, or call a service number does not really make much of a difference to them as it is all just one brand they are interacting with.
Micro-moments’ value in an omni channel approach
Needless to stress, that the significance of each little micro-moment you have with the customer tends to increase in value in an omni-channel approach. From a logistics point of view, this all boils down to moving items quickly along the supply chain, and have actionable information at your disposal right away. For instance when you are helping a customer in a store and need to check whether an item is available in the customer`s size.
Many industries are currently experiencing changes. Some call them transformation, some label them digitization, and others speak of industry 4.0. At the end of the day, it is all about change. Yet while change has always been inevitable, many businesses and individuals alike are worried about what it may bring. In fact, change tends to generate anxiety such as worries over job cuts, a state of criss or other hardships.
e-commerce emphasizes the significance of customer oriented logistics
Still – things may not turn out as badly as some may think they will. Take e-commerce for one. While the number of shoppers who are actually visiting brick and mortar stores seems to be declining for years now, this does not mean that jobs are lost as a result. In fact, e-commerce tends to create more manual work such as the processing of bulky shipments. But more importantly, e-commerce emphasizes the significance of customer oriented logistics. That is why many retailers are remodeling their stores to become fulfillment centers. While this may call for additional training so that workers can master new operations, it also demonstrates that jobs will not necessarily be cut just because things change.
But what can organizations do to put these scenarios into practice? How can they not only participate, but stay ahead of the curve? The catch is that none of the above will happen unless you get your workforce to embrace the change they will have to manage. This does not require yet another motivational speech. Much rather it calls for a credible, tangible statement. You need to strengthen your human workers and show some appreciation by valuing what they do.
the need for simple, small and wearable technology
So what do workers need to live up to and exceed these expectations? They certainly need new tools and adequate technology. Yet the answer needs to go beyond just slapping some technology on them and hope that will do the job. Much rather this is about technology that helps them, and integrates them with their ongoing processes. Something they can wear, and do not have to look for when they are interacting with the customer. Something so small it will not be in their way when they go about their primary objective of providing that unique customer experience. And certainly something that comes without excessive hours of training before you can operate it. Something that feels so simple that it provokes the question why nobody thought of that before. Something that provides guidance, yet prevents them from walking unnecessary distances so they can walk the extra mile when it really counts. In other words: Something that helps them acknowledge a simple fact of life: an exceptional customer experience is no witchcraft.
Watch the impact of ProGlove’s technology in cooperation with our partner Samsung in this interview with President North America Tracy Hansen: