‘Put the customer at the centre of your business, they say, but Maze’s Mark Rice believes success starts with your employees as without them, there can be no customer satisfaction or retail growth

As the retail industry continues its recovery after the disastrous pandemic period, businesses need to focus even harder on converting visits into revenue and one-off buyers into raving fans who come back again and again.

The most successful retailers out there demonstrate a clear strategy for growth, with the ability to put innovative technologies in the hands of their employees to reach their business goals. But not just any technology.

Let’s face it, the last thing your staff needs is more data. They need to be empowered with the right information at the right moment, so they can deliver the right experience in-store.

But how do you give your employees the means to generate more revenue for your brand?

1. Feedback

Customer feedback can be a treasure trove of insight about how shoppers experience your store and what might make them want to come back and spend more… or stay away altogether.

There’s no lack of feedback technology out there. But what really works is delivering instant feedback directly to store team members, using apps that also provide specific advice about what matters most to your customers.

This way, your staff can take control and improve future customer interactions.

2. Training

Empowered employees crave opportunities for continuous development. Bitesize daily training tips are a good way to keep staff up to date without overloading them.

Daily updates that correlate directly with customer feedback can be a winner all round, as they can let staff know exactly what to do to deliver a better store experience.

Training is much more powerful if it can be accessed by your staff on their own terms, not imposed on them through day-long sessions that sap productivity.

3. Community

Retail staff tend to be a tech-savvy bunch, hooked on social media and receptive to quick messages.

Retailers should tap into this when engaging with their workforce and should use apps and online portals that allow in-built social and gamification features that encourage teams from different stores to communicate and compete with each other.

The retail industry has a lot to answer for when it comes to treating its employees fairly. But it’s evolving and many brands are now seeing their staff for who they are: the lifeblood of their business.

The evidence shows that the connection between employee engagement and business performance is stronger than ever 

It’s not just through frontline employees that retail brands can benefit. Management also needs easy access to key insights and top-level trends that help them make decisions, beat the competition and grow the business.

“We cannot imagine life without it”

During a recent event, Heidi Engan, country manager at Swedish fashion chain Gina Tricot, stated that using Maze to improve in-store experience through higher staff engagement and better training led to a staggering increase of 168% in their Net Promoter Score.

Having exactly the right information at your fingertips, at any time of the day, can be addictive. As Millan Hladil, operation strategy and support director at Albert, the second largest grocery brand in the Czech Republic, put it: “back in 2009 when the iPhone launched, no one knew they needed a smart phone or what it did. Now you take it for granted that you just have to have one. Maze is like the iPhone in 2009. Now we have it, we cannot imagine life without it.”

 Mark Rice is UK sales manager at Maze Feedback.