4 Ways to Make Sales Associates Happy
August 20, 2018 | by StoreAdvise
By holding focus groups with sales associates and store managers from a variety of retail stores, we can better understand their pain points so that we can improve our technology to meet their needs. Retailers have been experiencing higher turnover and while many may think it’s due to low pay and benefits, our findings have found it’s also due to frustrations with inefficient tools.
Sales associates are being asked to do more than ever before and need the right technology to help them. Using outdated systems and equipment can make their jobs difficult, but with modern technology, you can increase sales associate’s productivity and increase their happiness on the job.
Incorporating Evolving Technology
Your shoppers are using the internet to learn more about your products, your store, and to shop in general. When a customer walks into a store, you can safely assume that they know more about your store and products than ever before. Customers are empowered through technology.
This can be intimidating for your sales associates if they do not have the same real-time access to information about products like your customers do. Just imagine a scenario where a customer comes in looking for an item that they saw online. They have all their information, they show the sales associate their phone with all of this information, and your sales associate isn’t sure where the item is, if it’s really in stock, and may have to go to the back to search.
If your customer has a cellphone with access to your store’s applications and/or website, why shouldn’t your sales associates have access to a cellphone/tablet that shows them all that information and more? In addition to helping the customer get their items faster, it gives your employees a boost of confidence every time because they can answer your customers’ questions without hesitation.
Plus, with younger generations getting into the retail workforce they are more tech-savvy than ever before. They know how to seamlessly navigate mobile applications for work and use that technology to enhance your customer’s shopping experience.
Locating Products Quickly
Since more stores have an online store that can now let you know what items are in stock, at different store locations, more customers are coming into your stores to pick up those items. The problem is that often, sales associates cannot find the items customer are looking for. The online system may not be connected to your current Point of Sales (POS) or there may be no way to connect the types of data points.
Vision Retail is a retail mobile application and desktop system developed to help your sales associates work efficiently. Using a variety of sensors, like RFID, barcodes, beacons, etc; and mobile applications, sales associates can easily locate any product at any time. Within our application, we offer a search feature that allows a sales associate to search for an item by color, size, name, and SKU.
Once the item is found within the application, the sales associate can view the item’s details including how many are in stock and the item’s location. This means any time a customer comes in looking for an item, or comes to a sales associate looking for a different size, the sales associate does not have to run to the back and leave the customer (and potential sale) unattended, instead, they can locate the item in real-time.
This makes your customers happy, as they get the items they want faster and it makes your sales associates happy as there is no longer any guessing in the process of locating items for customers. They can be confident in their search results and the information that they provide to the customer.
Organized Inventory Management
Finding items in the store is one issue that sales associates seem to have, yet another is having the right items in stock in the store or often, on the floor. In our focus groups, we heard a lot of sales associates complain about not having popular items in stock on the floor, meaning no one was replenishing the floor stock when items ran low. This leads to unhappy customers who come into your store looking for a particular item in a disorganized store.
While some companies think drones are the solution to inventory management problems, we think the solution can be a bit simpler. By incorporating different types of sensors, chips, and mobile applications into your store, you can empower your sales associates to not only keep an eye on inventory at all times but give them the knowledge of the store’s current inventory.
With our application, we alert sales associates of inventory’s status so that they can always have the knowledge on hand to better serve your customers. Our technology also helps sales associates keep an eye on inventory as our customizable zones keep your inventory organized in your store. We do this by alerting the sales associate when an item has a low stock on the floor, allowing the sales associate to replenish the items so that your best selling items are always available for your customers.
Additionally, when a customer comes into your store looking for that hot item, your sales associates will not only know exactly where the items are but will know, in real-time, if the item is in stock and available for the customer to purchase.
Once you have decided on the new technology you want to incorporate into your store, you have to train your employees. This is a fundamental step that many retailers, and software companies, overlook. The way in which you train your employee will set them up for failure or success, with the new technology, in the weeks and months to come.
A great application and/or software will require little to no training as a great product will be intuitive and user-friendly. However, for those who may not be as technically inclined, they will still need some type of training.
Gone are the days of training one-on-one, it is too time-consuming, costly, and frankly it doesn’t work. Spending hours in a week training in front of a computer, with manuals, quick guides, and a one-on-one technical trainee causes information overload. Your employee may retain some of the information after the course is complete, but they will forget most of it.
Instead, focus on quick win training that enables your employees to learn with real-life experiences. What we are saying is, let them train and learn on the job. We provide training materials that are user-friendly and meet all different types of learners needs. We also encourage to train with different short video tutorials, playing on a loop in the back of a store, to help users learn little by little each day.
Having happier sales associates starts by realizing their potential and their skill set, then empowering them with the right tools to reach their max potential. Trust in your employees to use the tools you provide them the correct way and ask them how you can make their job easier. If you don’t, you will run the risk of having a high turnover rate as other companies are making the switch to empowering their stores with technology to make their sales associates happier.
Get in touch with us if you want to learn more about our products and how you can use them to make your sales associates happier.