Issue 64 - February 2019 THE RETAILER
The backbone of retail
DESIGNING THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE
CREATING A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE BEYOND CUSTOMER SERVICE
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: HELPING RETAILERS ENHANCE CX
CONTENTS Issue #64 Features 14 CUSTOMER INTIMACY: GIVE YOUR EMPLOYEES INSIGHTS TO SEAL THE DEAL How can retailers empower employees to serve customers who expect you to know what they want before they walk into your store. 2O WOMEN IN RETAIL: MASTERING THE ART OF HUMAN RESOURCES As a human resource (HR) manager, Mhairi Holway knows all too well about issues in the workplace and the conundrum retailers face when it comes to actioning workplace compliance. 30 WHY THE INDUSTRY NEEDS TO BE AWARE OF THE CONSCIOUS CONSUMER Driving sustainable messaging within the fashion industry to match market trends is essential.
Aussie and Proud? So arewe.
For the last 30 years eftpos has been providing competitive and convenient payment solutions to all Australians. Today, we have become the first payment service to adopt the Australian Made logo. Tomorrow, is a new day: we are updating our infrastructure and seeking to adopt the most innovative product technology. This is our commitment to Australian consumers, merchants and the local industry.
REGULARS 04 From the Executive Director 06 Retail news from across Australia 10 The truths that we shouldn’t ignore 26 Investing in employees 34 How employees can cultivate a positive shopping experience 39 Drive a supreme sales team
EMPLOYEES 09 Exceptional customer experience begins fromthe inside out 16 Designing the employee experience 24 Howemployees are the next bestmarketing influencers 42 Supercharge yourmystery shop program
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE 18
Great culture, the key differentiator in driving employee and customer engagement
Automate and elevate
46 How to enhance the customer experience 52
Artificial Intelligence: Helping retailers enhance CX
Creating a positive experience beyond customer service
28 Employees advanced by tech 32 Chatime’s switch saves three adminhours per store everyweek Help your customers by giving your employees the full 360 48 Howmobile technology can solve the employee engagement crisis 44
HUMAN RESOURCES 36 In 2019 customer experience is a top priority and its success begins and ends with one interaction 40 New project set to make young people soar 45 Leverage technical talent 50 How to shut on the shop on absenteeism
ARA PRODUCTION TEAM
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External Contributors Australia Circular Fashion Conference, AMEX, Daylight Agency, Deputy, Freshworks, InMoment, Kronos, Life inStyle, McCartney Design, MeldCX, Paul Farina, Pronto, StaffConnect, SoftwareAG, Social Media and Marketing, The Realise Group, Team Lewis, TruRating, The Ventana Group, The Wayside Chapel
Editors Zoe Thompson Chiara La Rocca
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Copyright Contents may not be reproduced in any form without permission from the Australian Retailers Association and then only with suitable acknowledgments. 2019 Australian Retailers Association ISSN: 183404720
From the Executive Director
s we settle into the new year, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) are eager to see what 2019 has in-store for the Australian retail industry. With the new year marking the opportunity for new beginnings, the ARA are pleased to announce its recent partnership with the Hair and Beauty Association (HBIA). The alliance between the two associations has commenced to strengthen the relationship between the retail, and hair and beauty services sectors. As the peak body for the retail industry, the ARA will continue to advocate on behalf the retail industry and its members. This year, we can expect to see retailers across the country driving sales through their stores by focusing on delivering exceptional customer service through dedicated staff and management. On the preface of this notion, this year’s first edition of The Retailer will divulge into one of the most important assets to the success of any business- the employees. Often regarded as the backbone of the retail industry, in this issue we put a spotlight on how employees can communicate a businesses core values to customers and represent the brand’s overall image and vision. As the retail sector is a $310 billion-dollar industry that employs over 1.2 million people nationwide, the employees make a significant contribution to the growth and longevity of the Australian economy. With this in mind, the ARA Retail Institute is Australia’s leading retail training provider for both accredited and non-accredited learning programs. These programs are tailored towards retail enthusiasts who strive to transform their retail journey into a long-term and professionally fulfilling career. For more information on the Retail Institute, please refer to pages 26 and 39.
With the pre-Christmas trading period proving to be another bustling, yet exhilarating time for retailers, the ARA and Roy Morgan have predicted that post-Christmas sales will recognise a 3.1% year-on-year growth in sales from December 26, 2018 to January 15, 2019 This February, the ARA will once again partner with Roy Morgan to deliver comprehensive and accurate final figures around Christmas trade and look forward to featuring key highlights from this information in our upcoming Retail Debrief. Council elections will commence during the month of February and members will be updated once proceedings take place. If members wish to nominate, please contact the ARA on 1300 368 041. This year also marks the ARA’s first exclusive and only digitalised publication of The Retailer magazine. We hope you enjoy this edition of The Retailer magazine and we wish you all a thriving and prosperous trading year ahead. Best wishes,
Exclusive to CommBank, our Albert EFTPOS terminal not only accepts card payments but also runs apps allowing you to split payments, add tips, reconcile sales and much more. Get technology to keep your business moving forward. To find out how Albert can support your business please contact member services team at the ARA on 1300 368 041. Learn more at commbank.com/albert Do more than take payments, with Albert. Exclusive to CommBank, our Albert EFTPOS terminal not only accepts card payments but also runs apps allowing you to split payments, add tips, reconcile sales and uch more. Get technology to keep your business moving forward. To find out how Albert can support your business please contact member services team at the ARA on 1300 368 041. Learn more at commbank.com/albert Do more than take payments, with Albert.
THE AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION COUNCIL
President Rowan Hodge
Vice President Anthony Wilson
Treasurer Ralph Edwards
Secretary Steve Plarre
Advisory Andrew Ng Graham Dear Ralph Edwards Mark Daynes Anthony Wilson Toby Darvall
Russell Zimmerman Executive Director Australian Retailers Association
Things you should know: As this has been prepared without considering your objectives financial situation or needs, you should, before acting on this Things you should know: As this has been prepared without considering your objectives financial situation or needs, you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. Third party applications used may incur additional costs. Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, bank fees and charges apply. ARA may receive a referral fee from Commonwealth Bank for each successful referral (excludes existing customers). Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL and Australian credit licence 234945.
4 RETAILER | FEBRUARY 2019
RETAIL NEWS FROM ACROSS AUSTRALIA
REGULARS | NEWS
BY CHIARA LA ROCCA [ARA]
LUXURY BRAND MAKES GIANT LEAP TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
SYDNEY AIRPORT MADE MORE APPEALING TO CHINESE TOURISTS
QANTAS FREQUENT FLYER LAUNCHES NEW SHOPPING DESTINATION
lobal luxury fashion brand Burberry, have recently announced that they will disband on using and selling real fur and discontinue the destruction of unsaleable products. The initiative came into effect immediately after the announcement. The brand recently became a core partner of the Make Fashion Circular Initiative arranged by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation early in 2018. Partnering with sustainable luxury company, Elvis & Kresse, Burberry transformed 120 tonnes of leather offcuts into new products. “Modern luxury means being socially and environmentally responsible. This belief is core to us at Burberry and key to our long-term success,” commented Marco Gobbetti, Burberry’s Chief Executive Officer. Sustainability and corporate responsibility have become an increasing concern for consumers and having a luxury brand such as Burberry take action, sets an example for retailers to rethink their current practices and move towards generating a more sustainable future.
ustralia’s business-only bank Tyro, announced its next Alipay integration with Sydney Airport tax and duty-free retailer Heinemann Australia, where the payment system is currently live. With 900 million users choosing to pay for goods and services globally via Alipay and its strategic partners, it has evolved from a digital wallet, to a lifestyle enabler and is the number one preferred payment method in China. Through its partnership with Alipay, Tyro is now helping Australian businesses access the ever-expanding Chinese visitor market and empowering Australian retailers to better serve Chinese tourists by offering the payment options they prefer. For the year ending October 2018, there were over 1.4 million Chinese visitor arrivals in Australia. Chinese visitors injected AU$10.4 billion into the economy in the year ending December 2017,and this figure is predicted to rise to AU$13 billion by 2020. According to Tourism Research Australia’s Dispersal of Chinese Free and Independent Leisure Visitors in Australia 2015 report, Sydney is the most prominent arrival gateway with 45% of Chinese free and independent travellers (FITs) landing in the capital city. Tyro will offer Alipay to its other eligible 20,000+ businesses within the first half of 2019. This means, Australian businesses looking to capitalise on the Chinese tourist market will soon be able to offer a simple and seamless payment option to Chinese visitors, helping to make their local experience more familiar and replicate how they transact at home. Thousands of Chinese students and migrants who use Alipay and merchants, particularly across the retail and hospitality sectors, will also have the opportunity to engage with a range of payment options that provide more choice.
antas Frequent Flyer have recently expanded opportunities in retail by launching their new e-commerce platform, Qantas Shopping. This gives Frequent Flyers a chance to earn points while shopping at their leisure; at any time and any place. This is a first for Qantas Frequent Flyer where members can visit one place to: 1. Earn points by shopping online or in-store at over 150 retailers; 2. Use points on 8,000 products through the Qantas Rewards store; and 3. Browse and shop with over 600 brands To celebrate their September launch, retailers offered bonus Frequent Flyer points for purchases made through Qantas Shopping, with 10 points to be earned for every $1 spent on products. The Qantas shopping site includes a range of features designed to enhance the shopping experience. Through categorising their store into departments, this allows members to easily browse through retailers they want to shop with the added benefit of a transaction history, which shows shoppers where they have earned points. Qantas also have a Card Offers feature to allow Frequent Flyers to earn additional points when linking their Mastercard to their Frequent Flyer account. Card Offers also share targeted promotions with members based on their previous purchases and points are earned when purchases are made on linked Mastercards either online or in store. The Qantas points are then transferred into their accounts.
ACCESS ABILITY DAY- A HUGE SUCCESS
ore than half of Australian businesses in the retail industry are missing out on an untapped pool of talent by overlooking candidates with disability during the hiring process. According to research from the Australian Government, while the majority are open to hiring people with disability (78%), only 45% of businesses are currently employing someone with disability, Last year ended with a win for Australians with a disability, with AccessAbility Day, an Australian Government initiative introducing 1,400 people with a disability to over 940 businesses. The campaign ran from 26-30 November in 2018, and throughout the week, Australians with disability were introduced to employers who had the opportunity to see the skills, talent and ability that can be brought into the workplace. The high volumes of participants turned the event into a great success, giving prospective employees a chance to experience a role that aligns with their career interests. AccessAbility Day stems from the nationwide campaign, Employ their ability by Job Access with the purpose to raise awareness of disability employment. The campaign had some amazing faces, and showcased retailers that have extended career opportunities to people with disability, for example The Harris FarmMarkets in Sydney aim to have at least one person with disability in each of their stores.
Data from Nielsen has indicated that: • 65% of Chinese tourists use mobile payment platforms during overseas travels – six times more than non-Chinese tourists (11%); • Over 90% of Chinese tourists would consider using Alipay when travelling abroad if Alipay were more widely accepted among foreign merchants; and • Over 90% of Chinese tourists indicated they would increase their spending if Alipay were an accepted payment method. Tyro is further diversifying its offering and responding to merchant needs by introducing initiatives that will attract more revenue to its merchants’ businesses. The Alipay integration fits with Tyro’s strategy to offer alternative payments, as part of its existing award-winning EFTPOS and banking-specific products. As an Australian bank completely dedicated to business banking, Tyro is at the forefront of banking and payments and strongly supports its customers by designing innovative products and a better experience, so they can succeed.
Chiara is the Communications Administrator for the Australian Retailers Association and has a passion for sharing insightful and thought-provoking content to our members. See more at blog.retail.org.au
6 RETAILER | FEBRUARY 2019
Diploma of Retail Merchandise Management DESIGNED FOR RETAIL BUYERS & MERCHANDISE PLANNERS BUYING. THE FABRIC OF AUSTRALIAN RETAIL. for Australian retail, the Australian Retailers Association have developed a tailor-made course -level buyers and p anners.This unique qualification is delivered through various concept s, case study analysis, practical workshops and hands-on assessments.
EMPLOYEES | CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
+ If a business has a
Exceptional customer experience begins from the inside out If you want your business to be successful, focus on building relationships with both customers and employees.
culture that places the customer at the centre, the employees will innovate with purpose.
A first for Australian retail, the Australian Retailers Association have developed a tailor-made course for mid-level buyers and planners.This unique qualification is delivered through various concept theories, case study analysis, practical workshops and hands-on assessments. n to the course work and discussions relating to expectations, nt submission, assessment grading and outcomes. Course tion and navigat on through the online learning platform. Learn to negotiate, evaluate and formalise agreements with suppliers. Develop skills to determine supplier suitability and establish agreed terms of supply. INTRODUCTION NEGOTIATE & ESTABLISH A SUPPLY ARRANGEMENT (SIRRMRM007)
COURSE INTRODUCTION A MERCHANDISE STRATEGY (SIRRMRM002) nd critically evaluate factors impacting merchandise strategy te its effectiveness to develop a profitable merchandise strategy. 2019 - 2020 COURSES
Learn to negotiate, evaluate and formalise agreements with suppliers. Develop skills to determine supplier suitability and establish agreed terms of supply. NEGOTIATE & ESTABLISH A SUPPLY ARRANGEMENT (SIRRMRM007) Develop a merchandise promotional plan that supports merchandise performance. Schedule promotional activities that align to a merchandise strategy. Plan buying trips for the purpose of sourcing new product, materials or suppliers. Develop trip itinerary, key activities and identify product opportunities. DEVELOP A MERCHANDISE PROMOTIONAL PLAN (SIRRMRM008) PLAN MERCHANDISE BUYING TRIPS (SIRRMRM009) Develop a merchandise promotional plan that supports merchandise performance. Schedule promotional activities that align to a merchandise strategy. DEVELOP A MERCHANDISE PROMOTIONAL PLAN (SIRRMRM008) Plan buying trips for the purpose of sourcing new product, materials or suppliers. Develop trip itinerary, key activities and identify product opportunities. Plan the development of new retail products. Learn to generate product ideas suitable for a defined marketplace and prepare a design brief for production. Plan the development of new retail products. Learn to generate product ideas suitable for a defined marketplace and prepare a design brief for production. Develop skills to review quality and compliance standards, ensure products meet requir ments and take action to address quality nd compliance issues. MANAGE MERCHANDISE QUALITY & COMPLIANCE (SIRRMRM011) Develop skills to review quality and compliance standards, ensure products meet requirements and take action to address quality and compliance issues. MANAGE MERCHANDISE QUALITY & COMPLIANCE (SIRRMRM011) Analyse and evaluate trends in ecommerce to develop an effective ecommerce strategy. Develop digital content across digital platforms for the online sale of products or services. DEVELOP AN ECOMMERCE STRATEGY (SIRXSTR001) PLAN MERCHANDISE BUYING TRIPS (SIRRMRM009) PLAN PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT (SIRRMRM010) PLAN PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT (SIRRMRM010)
BY NAYSLA EDWARDS [AMERICAN EXPRESS]
Introduction to the course work and discussions relating to expectations, assessment submission, assessment grading and outcomes. Course administration and navigation through the online learning platform.
A POST TRADE ANALYSIS (SIRRMRM003)
f someone were to pose the question, “what comes first in a business, customers or employees?” -what would you say? In a world where ‘the customer is always right,’ is a common business refrain, it might seem obvious, but it isn’t.
A great example is US retailer Nordstromwhich has a single line as a piece of corporate guidance in its employee handbook: Use best judgment in all situations. Staff are given the freedom to make the decisions they need to serve their customers best. American Express is another great example, their Relationship Care model is used to empower employees to resolve problems on the first point of contact, rather than needing to escalate to higher levels of management. INNOVATE WITH PURPOSE More now than ever, businesses are seeing innovation as a way to beat out their competition. But innovation for its own sake won’t push any company forward, it needs to have the customer at the centre to really move the needle. This is where your culture comes in. If a business has a culture that places the customer at the centre, the employees will innovate with purpose, whether it’s building new products, making customers’ lives easier or creating novel experiences. This isn’t just something that applies to frontline workers, it’s all staff from back office to the CEO who need to have a clear idea of the company’s values and an understanding of how to apply that to what they do every day. To revisit the question of who should come first in your business, clearly your employee and your customers are as important as each other. If you want your business to be a success, it’s critical that you focus on building reciprocal relationships with both of them.
CONDUCT A POST TRADE ANALYSIS (SIRRMRM003) ills and knowledge to understand how financial decisions are e merchandise function and the implications of t e merchandise A MERCHANDISE FINANCIAL PLAN (SIRRMRM004) st trade information to draw insights and conclusions. Learn ematics to make recommendations for improved merchandise ce.
DEVELOP A MERCHANDISE STRATEGY (SIRRMRM002) Research and critically evaluate factors impacting merchandise strategy and evaluate its effectiveness to develop a profitable merchandise strategy.
As businesses look to compete in our digital world, no topic has received as much attention as customer experience. But what do customers actually want in an experience? A recent Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) report found, while customer experience comprises of the things we expect when we hear the phrase (speed, convenience and consistency) there is another crucial ingredient that doesn’t attract nearly as much attention: human connection. Making technology feel more human and giving employees the freedom they need to go the extra mile, are the things that really matter. In fact, the report found that despite technology becoming more intuitive, 81% of Australians still want to interact with a real person. This means that our focus should be on the people who make this possible every day; our employees. So how can you ensure your employee experience is creating the right customer experience? STEP INTO THEIR SHOES Having the right culture means understanding the experience of the employees and the points of friction they grapple with every day. There are a range of HR tools that can help with this but the best advice is free, speak to them. This also means incentivising employees in the right way to provide a good experience and boosting the training available to help them improve their services. Investing in your people is not only good for your company culture, but it’s good for business too. FREEING STAFF FROM THE MESSAGING BOOK If an employer wants employees to go the extra mile you have to enable them to do so. Instead of tying them to your messaging book or script, empowering staff to use their expertise to engage with your customers is critical.
Analyse post trade information to draw insights and conclusions. Learn retail mathematics to make recommendations for improved merchandise performance.
DEVELOP A MERCHANDISE FINANCIAL PLAN (SIRRMRM004) merchandis financial planning at the category and subcategory retail organisation. Review mercha d se plans and product . A CATEGORY FINANCIAL PLAN (SIRRMRM005)
Develop skills and knowledge to understand how financial decisions are made in the merchandise function and the implications of the merchandise function.
DEVELOP A CATEGORY FINANCIAL PLAN (SIRRMRM005)
ERCHANDISE PRODUCT RANGE (SIRRMRM006)
Undertake merchandise financial planning at the category and subcategory level for a retail organisation. Review merchandise plans and product categories.
commercially viable range of retail merchandise that reflects an d merchandise category financial plan and merchandise strategy.
PLAN A MERCHANDISE PRODUCT RANGE (SIRRMRM006)
DEVELOP AN ECOMMERCE STRATEGY (SIRXSTR001)
Develop a commercially viable range of retail merchandise that reflects an established merchandise category financial plan and merchandise strategy.
Analyse and evaluate trends in ecommerce to develop an effective ecommerce strategy. Develop digital content across digital platforms for the online sale of products or services.
VIC NSW QLD
12 March 2019- 28 April 2020 13 March 2019 - 29 April 2020 4 July 2019 - 20 August 2020
PICK & CHOOSE (PER WORKSHOP) $450
L DIPLOMA ORKSHOPS) 4500
VIC NSW QLD
12 March 2019- 28 April 2020 13 March 2019 - 29 April 2020 4 July 2019 - 20 August 2020
PICK & CHOOSE (PER WORKSHOP) $450
FULL DIPLOMA (11 WORKSHOPS) $4500
mbers can enjoy a 10%member discount off ket.
ARAMembers can enjoy a 10%member discount off each ticket.
ARA Retail Institute For more information w. info.retail.org.au/retail-merchandise-management e. email@example.com p. 03 8660 3341
ARA Retail Institute
For more information w. info.retail.org.au/retail-merchandise-management e. firstname.lastname@example.org p. 03 8660 3341
Naysla is the Vice President Brand, Charge Cards and Experiences at American Express Australia. For more information, please visit www.americanexpress.com
n of Australian Retailers Association
Division of Australian Retailers Association
FEBRUARY 2019 | RETAILER 9
REGULARS | POLICY
The truths that we shouldn’ t ignore
Promoting retail as a career and fostering the notion that the industry can provide a vibrant, fulfilling and lifelong occupation, starting off with two key campaigns in 2019.
BY JOSH WALKER [ARA]
Retail provides innumerate Australians the opportunity to enter the workforce for the first time. A part-time job after school or on weekends is where many of us begin our working lives. So too, does a job in retail help us support ourselves throughout our studies, or offer opportunities to re-enter the workforce at a later stage. All the while, retail employment supports the development of important skills, including a disciplined work ethic, relationship skills, business operations and so much more. However, this often leads to perceptions of a job in retail as a merely transient stepping stone, or a stopgap between jobs in other industries. We need to counter these perceptions and move away from the idea that retail is not a ‘real job’. One of the Australian Retailers Association’s (ARA) key focuses for 2019 is to do just that. We want to promote retail as a career and foster the notion that the industry can provide a vibrant, fulfilling and lifelong occupation. We are starting off by doing this through two key campaigns in 2019. Two of the most important aspects of retail employment are central to achieving this goal: women in retail, and skills.
Retail employment is a key driver for women’s workforce participation. The Department of Jobs and Small Business notes that 55.4% of employees in retail are women. This is something retailers should be proud of, as employment is crucial for individual economic participation and empowerment. Despite this, we must not rest on our laurels. These figures should be celebrated, but also tempered with the reality that the challenges facing women in other industries – achievement, recognition, career progression, leadership, among others – are faced by female retailers too. We can do much more to promote the status of women in our own industry. It begins by sparking the conversation; that’s why the ARA’s Women in Retail campaign will be a top focus for 2019. An inextricable link between this challenge and the promotion of retail as a career will be skills development. The ARA is passionate about developing the important pathways towards success and leadership in the industry. We see these skills as central to the success of women in retail - and all retail employees for that matter – in forging long term careers in the industry. One of the ARA’s first major pieces of work in this vein for 2019 will be the Government’s Independent Review into Vocational Education and Training.
ith tales of doom and gloom for the sector persisting, it can be easy to feel nervous about retail’s future prospects.
+ Retail employment supports the development of important skills, including a disciplined work ethic, relationship skills, business operations and so much more. The ARA and the ARA Retail Institute will be advocating for retailers and employees of all kinds when responding to this review. The size of these tasks for 2019 may be grandiose, yet the ARA is undaunted. This is because we are motivated by the importance of the industry, and the success of our members, every time we tackle the important issues. Retail employment, women in retail and skills development are three of those. 2019 is already shaping up to be a career year!
Obsessions over online competition, financials and growing costs are dominating the headlines. In some senses, they may be justified; in others, maybe not. Yet, an often-overlooked indicator should be cause for optimism, and points to the sustained vitality and importance of retail: employment. Looking at the latest figures from the Department of Jobs and Small Business, retail is holding up extremely well. Over the last five years, total employment in the retail industry has grown by 43,600 people. This represents a 3.6% growth rate across the 2013-2018 period, with 1.27 million Australians now employed in a retail job. Those numbers highlight the incredibly important contribution that retail makes to the economy. Retail is Australia’s largest private sector employer and ranks second only to the healthcare industry in overall employment. Retailers should rightly be proud of the opportunities and benefits they provide to so many Australians through a job in a store, distribution centre or head office around the country.
Josh is the Policy and Regulatory Advisor for the Australian Retailers Association and has a passion for advocating on issues related to the retail industry. To get involved in the ARA’s Policy and Advocacy campaigns, or to register your interest in the ARA’s policy committees, please contact email@example.com
10 RETAILER | FEBRUARY 2019
FEBRUARY 2019 | RETAILER 11
TECHNOLOGY | FRONT LINE
Automate and elevate How automation and digitalisation are easing the burden for retail employees.
BY JOY CHUA [MELDCX]
It makes it much easier to onboard staff, track who is in the building, and also train contractors on safety procedures such as fire exits. The digitalisation journey is two pronged, it is about providing excellent customer service, and also about elevating staff to focus on what matters, while removing any mundane tasks that can be automated.
customer details and directing people to the right counters. For example, MeldCX are currently rolling out a QMS for a major international car hire firm. The firm’s key pain point has been delivering an excellent customer experience, as research has found that customers dislike the lengthy and complex process of renting a car. Together with partner AOPEN Solutions, MeldCX have developed in-store fit-outs including a combination of wall, floor and desk mounted kiosks, as well as providing mobile tablets to shift much of the work from reception tasks to customers in a self-check- in system. Customers enter their reference number and drivers’ license numbers and so on, instead of queuing to do this at a counter. This not only cuts waiting time for customers, but also allows them to go at their own pace, with their own language preferences. For front line staff, it frees up time and speeds up the whole process. They can focus on more important and valuable work, such upselling insurance and fuel top-ups. They can also train and educate customers better, improving the overall customer experience. Another example is a staff sign-in process which is currently being piloted by a leading Australian supermarket chain. This automates a daily process so that staff can focus on other tasks. The sign-in solution can be used for everyone coming to a store: regular staff, visitors, contractors, casual and part-time staff.
etail employees have been the backbone of traditional retail. Over the past decade the rise of e-commerce, debates over
extended trading hours and the need for bricks-and-mortar outlets to deliver increasingly outstanding customer service has placed heavy demands on front line staff. One solution to ease the pressure of online staff is leveraging technology. Automating routine processes and tasks, digitising admin to reduce paperwork, and employing AI and machine learning to continually improve workflows and procedures, can all free up critical human hours so that staff can focus on more higher-value tasks like customer service. The critical element in any retail solution is to ensure that it supports staff instead of a creating a challenging burden. Employees form the executional layer of any digital strategy. They’re the frontline ambassadors for new technology; digitalisation can't be truly executed without employee adoption. Solutions need to be about ease of deployment and maintenance and ensure that both customers and staff benefit from the new technology. One example of how technology can make work easier for retail staff is a Queue Management System (QMS). Combined with assisted selling, this can be a powerful way to automate repetitive tasks such as collecting
+ Employees form the executional layer of any
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digital strategy. They’re the front line ambassadors for new technology: digitalisation can't be truly executed without employee adoption.
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Learn more, visit www.epson.com.au/pos
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12 RETAILER | FEBRUARY 2019
FEATURE | CUSTOMER SERVICE
Further, when a CRM solution is integrated seamlessly with point of sale (POS), marketing and buying teams can slice and dice data and become more intimately aware of customer demands. For example, when a consumer has visited a website or interacted with a chatbot through a phone conversation, this data can be combined to build a very detailed profile of consumer preferences. When sales assistants can access and review data about customers quickly they are fully aware of their preferences and able to offer outstanding service. The key is to have an interface that allows your employees to easily quantify what the consumer is looking for, based on hard data. Sales assistants are also more empowered to solve problems and direct sales straight from the floor. For example, a customer may come into a store to get a feel for a camera having completed their
Arguably the biggest thrill in any relationship is when you realise the other person has taken the time to get to know you really well. The retail relationship is no different.
research online at the company website or other sites. When they come into the store, a sales assistant should be able to pull up the customer’s buying and search history and then talk to the customer about the relevant product’s specific functionality and features. If there happens to be no stock for that particular model available in store, the sales assistant should be equipped to order a delivery of the product to the customer’s home or, for delivery to the store for a later pick up. This should be completed on the spot and based on the customer’s preference. They can also share exclusive promotions or special offers applicable to the customer that they may not have been aware of. The end result is a satisfied and loyal customer who is more likely to recommend the retailer to their friends and family. While some pundits claim that bricks-and-mortar stores are floating into extinction, the data does not quite agree. A recent survey from TotalRetail revealed that younger shoppers are more likely to visit physical shopfronts frequently and value insights from retail staff. It was found that 56% of surveyed millennials, 44% of Gen Xers and 27% of baby boomers shop in a physical store at least once a week. Using data, and in particular CRM integrated with business intelligence technology, enables marketing and buying teams to discover meaningful correlations, patterns and trends in large volumes of data, all of which relates to their prospects and customers. This is the promise of omni-channel retail, allowing you to combine the power of online data with the expertise of your sales assistants on the floor. As this occurs, online and in-store experiences comes together to create something completely new and puts sales people at the epicentre of the buying equation. Arguably the biggest thrill in any relationship is when you realise the other person has taken the time to get to know you really well. The retail relationship is no different. Learn how to leverage your data to seal the deal in 2019.
Customer intimacy: Give your employees insights to seal the deal
How can retailers empower employees to serve customers who expect you to know what they want before they walk into your store.
BY LES BRUZZANITI [PRONTO SOFTWARE]
fter a few weeks in any new relationship, there’s an expectation that you know what your partner likes, at least that you can pick a movie they’d enjoy and know if a turmeric latte or black chai is how they start their day. Fail at this and the relationship flounders. Somewhat similarly, in retail, there’s increasingly a high expectation that we know what our customers want, before they walk into the store. Fail at this and you may lose the sale. The internet gives customers access to mountains of information about every product – including functionality, performance and whether it comes in rose gold or not! So when a customer does walk into a store, they’ve spent time getting to know the staff and products and they expect employees to reciprocate this. When they don’t get the service they expect it may result in the customer voicing their complaints on social media, which can potentially have disastrous outcomes.
Sales assistants can know as much as possible about a product – but that knowledge alone simply does not cut it! They need to get personal. Intelligent data combined with a solid customer experience (CX) interface is the key. Data driven insights allow retailers to empower their teams with the power to predict the customer’s needs and guide the buying decision with confidence and panache. Technology can assist in capturing the sales journey from start to finish, so if an important opportunity is missed, the retailer will still have a handy alert to prompt them to take follow-up action. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution which is the single source of truth about prospects and customers can be a powerful data treasure trove. From here you can garner valuable insights such as buying behaviours, communication preferences and engagement patterns.
Les Bruzzaniti is the Retail and CRM Product Manager at Pronto Software. Pronto Software (Pronto) is an Australian developer of award- winning business management software. With in-built intelligence, flexibility and an easy-to-use interface, its flagship product, Pronto Xi, delivers rich business insights – helping organisations optimise and grow their operations. Learn more at www.pronto.net
14 RETAILER | FEBRUARY 2019
EMPLOYEES | FIT-OUT
+ Curating the right store environments creates new roles for your staff: they become consultants, event organisers, hosts and facilitators.
Designing the employee experience
IFYOUR CUSTOMER DOESN’T TRUSTYOU, THEY’RE NO LONGER YOUR CUSTOMER.
For all the benefits that technology brings, customers still value human interaction.
BY GARY MCCARTNEY [MCCARTNEY DESIGN]
For example, customers tend to use signage as a last resort for navigation. Their main navigational aids are colour, contrast and merchandise (you don’t need a sign in a supermarket to say ‘Fruit’), and their attention is concentrated at eye level. We have to lay out stores and categorise in a way that makes sense to customers. Clear and simple pathways and long but controlled sight lines are important. Getting your customer quickly to the category area they are looking for in-store takes away their initial anxiety. This puts them in relaxed browsing mode, which makes it easier for staff to open conversations. Designing purposeful spaces for categories should align with website categories. If someone has been shopping online howmuch easier is it to find something when they are in the store if it’s laid out in the same way? Mobile POS technology should be replacing the conventional queues at POS counters and enabling your team to work one on one with customers. Click & Collect and self-service kiosks increase efficiency for routing shopping while freeing up staff for more meaningful interactions. Curating the right store environments creates new roles for your staff: they become consultants, event organisers, hosts and facilitators. Their customer facing roles become more aligned with hospitality than retail- and that’s what customers expect. A recent example of this it the Supercheap Auto Experience Centre which features all of these moments to happen is essential. Technology does help, especially mobile technology. On a very simple level, store
the above; smart team uniforms, customer help desks, and a calendar of educational and entertaining events for customers. The entire centre of the store is devoted to an area where staff can interact with customers through one-to-many presentations and one-to-one consultations. The store is really designed around creating a better environment for the team to help customers in their purchase decisions and not only has customer dwell time increased dramatically, it’s where the entire SCA teamwants to work! The takeout? The better the experience will be for your staff, the better it will be for your customers!
n physical stores, a memorable service experience depends on an engaged and
empowered team. Your own people spend a lot more time in store than your customers do, and they do it every working day. By designing an environment that’s easy, efficient and fun for your staff to work in, we create a better customer experience. From our experience in store design, positive environments and positive teammembers synergise. Not only does a well-designed environment enhance the morale of existing team, it attracts potential new teammembers of a positive mindset. Even the uniform is important. In a recent project for BP Australia, we re-designed the staff uniform as part of an overall transformation of their convenience retail environments. By introducing a new, casual, hospitality-based uniform, we transformed sales assistants into hosts and gave them the confidence to interact positively with customers. The key effect was a much more credible café experience and coffee sales increased dramatically. In a world where initial research into new purchases takes place online, store staff find themselves in the position of fielding deeper and more detailed questions from customers. Instead of selling to customers they are there to help themmake purchase decisions. This takes time and we need to somehow create that time. This means removing functional, routine tasks like direction giving and ringing up sales. For the former, it means creating an environment that is intuitive for both staff and customers to use.
SAP C/4HANA. Build a better relationship with your customers. With the SAP ® C/4HANA suite, you can deliver the individualized experiences your customers want with the privacy and security they demand. So you never lose your customer’s trust. Or your customer. THE BEST-RUN BUSINESSES MAKE THEWORLD RUN BETTER. Learn more at sap.com/trust
Gary McCartney is the owner of McCartney Design. We specialise in the design of retail and hospitality environments. Find out more at www.mccartneydesign.com.au
16 RETAILER | FEBRUARY 2019
+ Employers who create a healthy, caring and supportive work environment will help cultivate the business’ future leaders, who in turn
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE | CORPORATE CULTURE
2. OFFER STAFF MEANINGFUL DEVELOPMENT Employees want to feel there is opportunity for advancement within the organisation they work for. Let them know their options and how they can get there. If they feel they have a solid career path ahead of them, they’ll be more inclined to provide great service to customers knowing it will also benefit their long-term goals. 3. MAKE TRAINING PART OF YOUR CULTURE Employees want to gain new skills that will make themmore successful in their current positions and potentially lead to advancement. Provide ongoing training and coaching that teaches employees new skills, because these skills will ultimately shine through in customer interactions. 4. SHOW EMPLOYEES THEY ARE SUPPORTED Interactions between management and employees is fundamental to building upon the lessons learned in training and coaching sessions. Feedback and praise are critical to employees feeling like they are making a difference. Employers who create a healthy, caring and supportive work environment will help cultivate the business’ future leaders, who in turn will manage the overall customer experience. 5. CREATE AN ENJOYABLE WORKPLACE Even companies with heavy structures can create a positive and enjoyable environment that employees relish being a part of. For employees to be fully engaged at work and with your customers, they must feel fulfilled with their employment, believe their talents and interests aid in their success and be excited about what’s next- which could be the next big product, their next project or maybe just being excited about coming back to work the next day. Even small gestures to make a workplace more enjoyable can influence the levels of service and patience that employees deliver to customers. 6. PROVIDE REWARDS AND RECOGNITION Beyond creating an enjoyable workplace, it’s important to recognise employees for a job well done. A rewards programwhere leadership recognises top employees can foster camaraderie. Employers can take it that step further by empowering all employees to nominate their colleagues for a superstar performance. Rewarding strong employees for great customer service interactions will not only set an example for other employees, but it may also inspire them to go above and beyond in providing excellent service to the customers they engage with. All of this can help make a business more successful. As was famously said some years ago by Herb Kelleher, co-founder of US-based Southwest Airlines- one of the brands consistently awarded for exceptional customer service: “So who comes first? Shareholders, employees or customers? That must always be the same answer. Employees come first. When treated right, employees will treat the outside world right. The outside world will then use the company’s products again and that makes shareholders happy. That’s the key to business success.”
Great culture, the key differentiator in driving employee and customer engagement
will manage the overall customer experience.
Delivering exceptional customer experience in the retail world starts with building great employee engagement.
BY CHRIS GRAY [THE DAYLIGHT AGENCY]
wners of all retail businesses would agree that a fundamental ingredient to their success is an ongoing stream of happy customers or ‘super fans,’ if you like. People who will gladly talk about a brand, buy from it regularly and refer it to friends and family. Research shows one of the ways to ensure brands build communities of engaged and happy customers, is to first focus on building engaged and happy employees. Indeed, the correlation between the two is so powerful that many experts believe it is difficult, if not impossible, to gain the former without the latter. Global consulting firm Gallup, which regularly releases compelling data on the topic, says the equation is simple: happier employees equals happier customers. Gallup’s latest findings reveal that employees who are engaged with a brand are more likely to deliver higher levels of customer experience with an average 20% increase in sales. That’s a powerful impact on any retailer’s bottom line!
So what are the secrets to retail nirvana? How do organisation’s create such a compelling internal culture that staff will willingly deliver superior customer experiences? There are a number of factors at play. Here are six suggestions: 1. EDUCATE YOUR TEAMS AROUND YOUR BRAND PURPOSE People want to work for businesses that have a purpose and a belief. Ensure you know what your cause is. Why does your business exist? In the words of international speaker and best- selling author Simon Sinek, “Knowing your ‘why’ inspires people to do something bigger than themselves.” Articulating the ‘why’ of your business with a rallying call and point of difference in the marketplace. If you don’t know your why, spend some time developing or honing it as it will give you a powerful platform on which to grow your business to higher levels.
Chris Gray is Managing Director and a Partner at The Daylight Agency, an integrated communication services firm which helps promote and protect brands. Chris consults regularly in the retail environment and has worked for several small, medium-sized and large organisations operating in the sector. For more information visit www.daylightagency.com.au
18 RETAILER | FEBRUARY 2019
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