With the economic conditions of the past few years, many retail stores have been struggling to stay afloat. When consumers are trying to keep their wallets closed, what can stores do to hit the right balance that brings consumers in, converts them to purchase, and brings them back? We found an interesting article recently in the Chron.com Small Business section titled, “What Can a Retail Store Do to Improve?” that speaks to the various strategies stores can use to take their businesses to the next level. As Scheduling Gurus, we see more opportunity for improvement in the four areas author Lisa Dorward highlights. Check out our take:
- Management: Dorward says, “Managers face pressure from a range of responsibilities such as increasing sales, controlling inventory, hiring, training and managing employees, minimizing payroll, engaging customers, and monitoring shrinkage, so working with the manager to establish priorities is critial.” We couldn’t agree more. With so many hats to wear, where should a manager start? We recommend simplifying the management of staff and schedule with When I Work. Since managers can manage the schedule, shift swaps and changes, time-off requests anywhere, at anytime, When I Work’s scheduling efficiencies will help give the manager more time for the most pressing priorities.
- Technology: As Dorward points out, technological advances in equipment have helped retail stores better control their inventory, reduce shrinkage, and more, but what about using technology to better control the schedule? With When I Work’s mobile capabilities, and text/email alerts, ShiftNotes, and more, your staff will be better prepared to take on each shift, and your management will rest-assured that their schedule syncs with the availability of each employee.
- Conversion: The key to growing retail business is bringing in new customers and driving them to purchase. Dorward says, “…You must track the traffic going through your store – non-buyers as well as buyers. Tracking conversion rates will help you monitor your progress and refine your strategies.” This is a great strategy for growing conversion, and When I Work can help make this strategy even more effective. With Schedule Templates, you can save schedules that are especially effective for conversion, and use those templates to build new schedules. With Schedule Templates, your learnings from conversion tracking can be transferred directly to the schedule.
- Customer Service: A great customer service experience drives loyalty, and loyalty drives sales. Quality of personnel is important, but it’s not enough. Dorward says, “…Consistency in personnel is also critical. Turnover in managers and sales staff undermines customer loyalty.” Apart from making sure you hire empathetic, patient, and consistent sales staff, you also want to make sure you meet your staff’s needs. When I Work was built to meet the needs of both managers and staff, which is why we incorporated both schedule availability and schedule preferences for staff. The manager has this information readily available when creating the schedule, so employee needs can be taken into account with every schedule. Since employee satisfaction directly translates to employee retention, which then lends to customer loyalty, let When I Work make management of their needs simple.
With When I Work, retail stores can improve their productivity, employee satisfaction, and customer loyalty. Sign up for a free (no credit card required) 30-day trial, and see how a little technological help can turn into improvements for your retail store.Improve Retail Business Through Effective Staff Scheduling Chad Halvorson