The world of retail is changing. Not only in Ireland but across the world. The internet made sure of that. It seems like every day large international store chains have wound up in the news for things like filing for bankruptcy or closing up their shops in certain locations. In order for retail to survive for many years to come, the people running them must make some changes.
These include training workers to provide better customer service and even scheduling them so that there is always someone on hand to help out an employee. There are several other changes that must be made as well, including new technology, such as retail workforce management software. Here is what you need to know.
Scheduling Your Employees Effectively
The demographics surrounding retail employees in Irish companies have changed quite a bit in recent years. This means that they are no longer students who work retail jobs while attending school. The workplace used to skew this way, as retail was seen as a very good first job to have. It taught responsibility, customer service skills and more.
However, now employees are older. They balance family and the job. This makes it a bit tougher for retail managers to schedule them, as there are so many different factors in play. For example, with younger employees, it was easy to schedule them around their class periods and extracurricular activities. The older employees have a lot more on their plates. They have family activities, meals to plan, volunteer work, and more, that must be scheduled around. Thankfully, there is retail workforce management software that can make this easier on the employer.
For example, the employer in Ireland can enter all of the employee’s variables, including their available work times, and see where the software places them. This information is available at the employer’s fingertips, making it much easier to deal with.
On top of this, if any schedule changes need to be made, they can be done via the software as well. This makes it much easier for the retail manager to keep the store properly staffed at all times.
Training is Important
Retail workforce management software is also good for training purposes. Every employee needs to be properly trained in how to do their job. And if something changes, such as the POS system, the layout of the store, or even any internal policies, then the employees need to be kept informed. This can be done through a series of training sessions, as well as with a number of meetings and other gatherings.
The retail manager can use the retail workforce management software in order to schedule times for these training sessions and meetings. It can be done in a way that keeps a certain number of employees on the shop floor, where they can serve the customers by ringing up purchases. When the group of employees who were pulled off for training is done, the groups can switch. This ensures that your store is running properly, while the employees are receiving the training that they need.
Customer Service Matters As Well
Ideally, a store will have a number of employees on the sales floor at all times in order to make sure that good customer service is provided. This is very, very important, and is another thing that retail workforce management software can help with. Without good customer service, stores will close. A bad customer experience ends up being blasted on social media these days, making it tough for retail shops to overcome. An apology doesn’t go as far as it used to!
In order to focus on customer service skills, additional training sessions must be held, all of which can be scheduled using the retail workforce management software. These customer service skill sessions should include information about store policies, such as how to handle a return and when to contact a manager after a situation escalates. They also need to teach employees how to provide service with a smile and how to show that they like their jobs. (Trust us, people can tell whether or not they like their jobs.)
Finally, the customer service skills sessions must include details about the shop and its goods. The employees need to be experts in every aspect of the store. This means that they need to know the inventory backward and forwards and understand how everything works. If the shop sells clothing, they need to know about fit. If the store sells books, then they need to know more about the genres. Above all else, they must know the layout of the store so that they can steer employees in the right direction.
Overall, the training sessions that can teach the employees all of these important customer service skills can be handled by retail workforce management software. Otherwise, the retail store will be in trouble.