5 Ways to Make Your Store Visits More Effective
When implemented correctly, on-site visits ensure proper strategy execution and ultimately help organizations provide top-notch customer experiences. Here are some of the ways that organizations can get more out of their store visits:
1. Let data guide your store visits.
Many store managers use one standardized checklist to assess performance, gather data, and set objectives for their store visits. However, the reality is that each location is different and the focus of each trip may vary depending on the store.
As such, organizations should look at their historical data before conducting and scheduling visits to determine which locations should be prioritized and the specific areas they’ll concentrate on when they get there.
This might include reviewing previous visit reports, progress on tasks, and most importantly, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for each store. For instance, a retail district manager might find that one store’s average transaction value is trailing behind. They focus on interviewing store managers and associates, and then assign a cross-selling training that’s worked well for other locations.
This step allows managers to make the most of their limited time while creating more targeted solutions.
2. Use a digital, cloud-based solution.
Organizations should move away from manual checklists, Excel files, and other old-fashioned tools. They’re inefficient, prone to human error, and don’t make it easy to collaborate. In addition, waiting to get back to a desk to compile store visit data not only wastes time, but ultimately requires more work for busy managers and directors.
Instead, companies should adopt digital, cloud-based solutions that work on multiple devices and can provide by-the-second information and updates. These tools allow managers to digitally monitor all parts of their business on-site or on the go, ensuring compliance, consistency, and customer satisfaction.
When it comes to improving store visits, hitting retail KPIs, and streamlining communication, one of the best solutions is digital workplace software. Teams get access to a wide variety of top-notch tools, including real-time messaging, surveys and trainings, task management, shift scheduling, and in-depth analytics.
3. Centralize all tasks, data, and communications.
Managing multiple locations inevitably creates a constant stream of tasks, communications, schedules, and metrics to keep track of. The information whirlwind can make it difficult to discover opportunities and zero in on issues during a store visit. Frontline workers may feel disconnected from their resources, goals, and the organization overall.
Companies that centralize these components pave the way for more effective store visits and greater productivity across the board. It’s not uncommon for retailers to be advised to use several different digital solutions and integrate them to create one workable system. But a single management hub comes with important benefits.
It minimizes data double-entry, streamlines scheduling, makes information easier to find, and puts everyone on the same page. Managers can quickly get visibility into store-level challenges, then execute action plans and recognize team achievements. Working from a single digital solution also reduces IT and overhead costs, freeing up crucial funds.
4. Automate task assignments and follow-ups.
Retail district and field managers shoulder a heavy workload. They’re asked to uncover the source of location challenges and assign and monitor tasks while also submitting reports and optimizing the frontline at the same time. This is supposed to happen between the hours spent driving to each location.
The good news? Using digital workplace software allows you to automate task management, before, during, and after each store visit. You can trigger corrective action based on performance and get progress notifications, allowing your team to focus on the work at hand.
For instance, there are automated workflows that not only assign tasks to specific workers, but also auto-reassign them if there are scheduling changes. Task status is ready to be reviewed before the next store visit, letting managers get quick confirmation that issues were resolved so they can move on to their next objective.
5. Focus on connecting and empowering your frontline employees.
While store visits are largely about ensuring compliance and improving performance, they also present a fantastic opportunity for managers to connect with frontline team members. Happy employees who feel committed to the company will perform and execute better. In one study, companies that fostered employee happiness outperformed their competitors by 20%.
So, district managers should use their drop-ins to get quality time with their staff and leave a positive impression. One-on-one conversations, weekly messages, training sessions, group lunches, and real-time polls or surveys can start the conversation and better prepare employees for their day-to-day tasks.
As the eyes and ears of the business, employees can also reveal insights and provide feedback to better your visits. They serve as unofficial brand ambassadors, representing the store and creating a consistent, return-worthy experience across locations. Done correctly, these steps could play a huge role in lowering employee turnover and realizing store goals.
The next step
Better store visits start with data-driven strategies, centralized information, time-saving automation, and engaged employees. Request a WorkJam demo to see how a digital workplace helps you achieve operational excellence at every location.
About the author:
Steven Kramer, Chief Executive Officer
Steven is a technology entrepreneur with over 20 years of executive leadership experience in founding and scaling companies developing disruptive, enterprise-class technologies. In 1999, Steven co-founded iCongo, a leading global software provider for omni-channel retail and B2B commerce solutions, which merged with hybris Software in 2011 and became the largest independent provider of e-commerce solutions with 27 offices worldwide, 1000+ employees and more than 600 customers. Steven was part of the Executive Management team and Board Member at hybris. hybris Software was purchased by SAP in 2013. While working with companies on their omni-channel strategies, Steven identified a gap between traditional workforce management systems and how companies actually hire, schedule and manage their frontline employees. With this in mind, Steven co-founded WorkJam.
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