“They’re the ones who are engaging directly with consumers, receiving feedback in real-time,” Leaman explained. “With 93% of customers willing to come back to a brand they previously had a positive experience with, organizations would be wise to recognize the influence of these employees and provide them with the proper tools to succeed.”
Currently, only 10% of retail associates receive recognition for their work from their corporate office, so hearing directly from senior leaders on how their customer interactions impact the overall success of the company is critical, Axonify found. Another way retailers can communicate the significance of employees’ interactions with customers is by providing workers with the tools to deliver positive experiences, Leaman said. Investing in an employee enablement solution also can ensure store associates are confident in company messaging and processes and avoid giving customers misinformation.
“These tools also highlight how frontline workers can improve soft skills, such as showing empathy to frustrated customers and building customer relationships,” Leaman said. “According to our research, 67% of all “Deskless Report” respondents from corporate to workers believe investing in new technology for retail associates will improve the success of their organization, so it’s an approach that has broad buy-in.”
Talkdesk’s “Future of Retail Customer Service” report shows that the No. 1 barrier for retailers achieving their customer service goals was finding and retaining customer service staff.
“Churn has long been the norm in retail,” Shannon Flanagan, Talkdesk’s vice president of global strategy of retail and consumer goods, told Retail Leader Pro. “However, now retailers need to be committed to enabling their associates to provide more meaningful service to their customers, making work more worthwhile and showing that there are opportunities for growth within the contact center workplace.”
Whether a company’s workforce is fully remote, hybrid or in person, workforce engagement management (WEM) tools are essential to keeping teams connected and on track. Talkdesk’s “Future of Workforce Engagement” report discovered that investment in WEM tools will remain a top priority for organizations through 2025, with 78% of customer experience (CX) professionals noting this investment as a priority for their organization. This stems from the need for companies to achieve greater efficiency, profit and improved customer satisfaction through the contact center, Talkdesk said. In addition to WEM tools, Talkdesk found that 73% of CX professionals expect to increase the use of gamification in the contact center.
“Finding new and creative ways to engage with workers that introduce competition and rewards will contribute greatly to keeping contact center employees on their A-game with an eye towards success,” Flanagan said.
Many retailers perpetually remain understaffed, and retailers are tasked with handling the shortfall and improving efficiencies. Often, a lack of employee efficiency comes from uncertainty around their roles and responsibilities. With labor shortages a continuing reality for retailers, companies should invest in workforce training solutions to ensure employees have clarity with processes and are aligned with company messaging.