Customer experience is on the rise in retail at the end of the year

Zebra Technologies executive gives tips on how SaaS, communication and task management tools can increase connectivity, visibility and productivity

IoP Journal

The director of SaaS (software as a service) at Zebra Technologies, Dieter Avella, says it’s no secret to any retailer that front-line salespeople are an essential element in running the business and customer satisfaction, especially during high-demand seasons like Christmas. “To keep the wheel turning even in times of pressure and increased movement, companies need to support front-line teams, improving efficiency and productivity, which translates into queueless checkouts, stocked shelves, organized stores and, in general, a better experience for the customer”, reflects Avella.

For him, the path to success includes software solutions as a service (or software as a service or SaaS), communication and administration of tasks that ensure full visibility of what is happening in the business, as well as the external factors that impact it. “Decision makers need to focus on growing profitability and sales and, for that, they need tools that make the administration of operations simpler and easier, from the simplest task to the most complex process, increasing connectivity, visibility and productivity”, he explains.

Dieter Avella

The executive also shares three key tips to empower the workforce and ensure a successful holiday season:

Make the work easier

Front-line employees can become frustrated when they are not sure what tasks or activities to perform, or when they don’t know the proper procedure for new operations. The pressure from the pre-Christmas movement could make the situation even worse. Thus, an agile way of receiving relevant information is needed so that front-line employees are always in the right place, at the right time, performing the right task. Through a real-time SaaS communication solution, frontline employees can exchange information easily, making it simple to send, receive and review messages at any time.

These SaaS solutions centralize communications in one place, using rules-based hierarchies and customizable templates to ensure messages are routed to the right people. From a management perspective, this makes communication smart, allowing you to track how many employees saw or responded to messages. In addition to helping to organize the day-to-day operation, the technology also ensures that urgent problems are resolved quickly and easily, as it brings visibility and agility.

Optimize working hours

According to a Zebra Technologies survey, 49% of front-line employees reported being overwhelmed and 42% said they didn’t have enough time to help customers. In recent years, the workload has increased even more with more activities taking place in stores, such as picking up or exchanging products purchased online. In this way, intelligent SaaS solutions focused on managing employees are increasingly needed.

They create accurate work schedules, taking into account variables such as customer traffic, task load, promotions to be organized and new product launches to be flagged. In addition to increasing efficiency, they dramatically improve employee morale, retaining valuable talent for the company.

Harness the power of mobility

Front-line teams can further take advantage of real-time operating SaaS solutions via mobile devices. Equipped with devices like handheld computers, they can access tools that allow them to communicate, check schedules and check the work they must do that day.

For example, with a mobile device, front-line employees can submit shift change requests from anywhere, anytime. Leaders are able to manage projects and control results in real time, as the employee can take a photo of the completed task and submit it for review. It is also possible to create a shared checklist, informing teams about their tasks, along with all the information necessary to carry them out. The system automatically notifies managers when lists are completed.

By having frontline teams equipped with customized solutions that make them more efficient and satisfied with their work, companies can successfully get through the holiday season. “The most interesting thing is that these solutions are smart and evolve over time. In this way, in addition to monitoring business needs in times of high demand, such as Christmas, they also prepare you for the demands of future consumers. A company that invests in technology like this is guaranteed for the next few years”, concludes Avella.