How to Improve Team Communication in Retail
Managing retail teams involves many moving parts, which can put a lot of pressure on store managers, regional directors, and corporate leadership. It's often challenging to ensure that everyone is on the same page and nothing falls through the cracks.
The industry's relatively high turnover rate and the need to respond nimbly to fast-evolving customer expectations also make it more important than ever to establish processes and centralize team communication in retail.
Thankfully, there are many retail team communication systems that can streamline collaboration among team members, stores, and management to improve productivity and increase efficiency.
Key Features of Retail Team Communication Tools
Here are some important features and characteristics of retail communication applications that help increase employee productivity and streamline operations:
- Cloud-Based: Without having to install expensive and cumbersome hardware, stores can get up and running quickly with little upfront cost. You can scale up or down quickly to avoid paying for capabilities you can't fully utilize. Not to mention, employees can access the platform from anywhere with an internet connection, making it easy for management to coordinate resources while on the go.
- Mobile- and Desktop-Friendly: Frontline staff require mobility to serve customers on the floor, while back-office employees may need desktop computers for more complex administrative tasks. Retail software offers a full set of features on any hardware, allowing your team to use devices that are most appropriate for their job function.
- Messaging: In a fast-paced industry like retail, real-time communication among team members, stores, and management helps ensure that time-sensitive information is shared efficiently to avoid errors, duplicate work, or inventory issues.
- Task Management: A personalized dashboard allows store leaders, district managers, and corporate leadership to quickly see what needs to be done, helping them better tackle the many moving parts in the day-to-day operation of retail stores. Many platforms also incorporate functions such as calendar, to-do lists, and task tracking to consolidate operations and improve project management.
- Resource Repository: A centralized location for multimedia resources and documentation ensures everyone has access to the latest information. With a robust search and filter function, users can sort materials by different criteria and attributes, such as role, store type, or region.
- Survey: The ability to gather intel in real-time from individual stores can help management improve employee experience and gain insights into customer behaviors so they can better forecast demand and distribute products.
Benefits of Integrating Cloud Communication into Retail Team Communication
To further enhance real-time team collaboration, retailers can integrate cloud-based communication platforms, such as UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service), CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service), and VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) into their communication protocol.
Below are the benefits of using cloud communication tools for your retail business:
- Flexibility and Scalability: These cloud-based platforms don't require extensive setup, meaning you can get up and running quickly using existing tools and infrastructure. They can be integrated into many communication systems so you can improve productivity without investing in costly hardware.
- Mobility: Employees can access these communication tools from anywhere with an internet connection. This is particularly helpful for management that's often on the go while having to stay connected with multiple store locations.
- Cost Reduction: There's little to no upfront setup cost required when using cloud communication platforms. The subscription model also lets you purchase just the right mix of capabilities and scale up or down as needed. Even better, in-network calls are free, which means you can save on long distance and international phone charges.
- Video and Voice Calls: VoIP and UCaaS supports both video and voice calls to help enhance team communication and collaboration.
- Chat and File Sharing: VoIP and UCaaS also offer messaging and file sharing features to facilitate the distribution of time-sensitive information. With the files uploaded to a central location, they can be searched and shared by all the stores and corporate management efficiently.
- Advanced Call Management and Statistics: VoIP applications offer a host of advanced features such as call queuing, voicemail to email conversion, and call recording that can save time and increase productivity. Management can also access call statistics to evaluate the effectiveness of the team communication strategy and identify areas for improvement.
Optimize Team Productivity with Cloud Communication
The right team communication platform helps retail brands increase their ROI by improving productivity and reducing errors, all while staying on top of a fast-paced industry. For more information on the importance of integrated communications for retailers, download 8x8’s white paper, “5 Reasons Retailers Need Truly Unified Communications.”
Choosing the right technology is crucial to a successful retail business. Establish a streamlined retail communications strategy with 8x8 and focus on growing your business. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.