Consumers sometimes struggle to get the help they need – and the service they expect – from retailers. Everybody knows that because all of us are consumers ourselves.
In the age of Amazon, in which customer experience is paramount, that just doesn’t fly. If a retailer doesn’t provide the experience consumers want, they simply go elsewhere.
Most retail workers really do want to help customers. They just don’t have the tools or time to provide customers with fast, fantastic service. That can create frustration and disengagement for even the most dedicated retail employees.
And a lack of employee engagement in retail can hurt customer experience. It’s a vicious circle.
Outdated Technology Can Cause Workers to Unplug
Providing retail workers with advanced digital workplace technology can stop the madness.
Research illustrates there is a significant difference between attitudes of people who work at technology leaders vs. laggards. Forty-four percent of employees for technology laggards are frustrated with their employers because of the technology. Workers at laggards are more than 500% more likely to be frustrated.
And employees who have to work with outdated technology are 600% more likely to consider quitting. A different survey, of more than 1,000 workers, reported that 10% left a job because of technology frustrations.
The Price of Employee Disengagement Is High
A 2017 Gallup report indicates that actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $483 billion to $605 billion each year in lost productivity. Disengaged workers also are more likely to quit.
That can be particularly problematic in retail, where job-hopping is already prevalent.
It may take time for new retail employees to get up to speed with employers’ processes. When employees leave, retailers spend extra time and money recruiting and training replacements. And whenever a salaried employee leaves, it costs the business six to nine months’ salary.
Collaboration, Automation Keep Retail Workers Connected
Such data illustrates the importance of investing in state-of-the art technology. The extent to which retailers adopt leading technology has a deep and lasting impact on productivity and employee attitudes and emotions.
And They Help Retail Employees Be More Productive and Agile
Advanced digital workplace technology helps retail employees better manage their work. Workstream collaboration makes it easier for them to interact with colleagues and access the resources they need. And automation allows for worker self-service and improved productivity.
Sixty-three percent of workers told research agency Loudhouse that having access to the resources they need helps them perform better. And 90% said such access is helpful.
Collaboration enables retail employees to work together to address problems and deliver great experiences. And it allows them to access and share information quickly and securely.
With automation, retailers and their employees can assign virtual assistants routine tasks. As a result, retailer workers – and customers – get fast access to the resources they need. Plus, retail workers can spend more time focusing on higher-value pursuits. It’s a real retail game changer.
For such digital workplace solutions to meet their promise, they must be secure, easy for retail employees to use, and offer consistent experiences across all devices and locations. Unisys is a security expert that takes special care to make digital workplace solutions user friendly.
Just Look at the Benefit These Retailers – and Their Employees and Customers – Are Enjoying
Grupo Exito provides a great example of how secure and easy-to-use automation and digital workplace technology works for retail. The South American retail giant adopted an automation process solution, help desk services and other capabilities from Unisys and our partner Dell EMC. That enabled Grupo Exito to open new stores in four countries, offer a wide variety of products across multiple channels, and increase worker efficiency and response time.
With Unisys Digital Workplace Services another retailer, Cencosud, delivers a globally consistent end user experience via a unified service desk model. The multinational retailer has exceeded its target 70% first call resolution rate and reduced service delivery costs by about 20%.
A large US-based organic supermarket chain is another retailer leveraging advanced digital workplace technology to enhance employee and customer experiences. The goal in this case was to ensure the success of all corporate- and franchise-owned stores by allowing them to continuously sell, order and receive products. Through its work with Unisys, this large chain improved store uptime from 95% to 97%, prioritized critical incidents to put more focus on down stores, and accelerated its ability to add new stores.
And a large automotive retailer improved employee and customer experiences using Unisys Digital Workplace Services, including around-the-clock help desk support. It has decreased average time in queue to reach help desk agents from 30-60 minutes to less than 40 seconds.
When retailers provide the automation and advanced workstream collaboration technology retail workers need to deliver quality customer service, everybody wins.