How Staff Optimization Improves Sales and Customer Satisfaction
For retail stores, labor costs—i.e., employee salaries and benefits—typically eat up a sizable chunk of annual profits. This further emphasizes how important it is for managers to make the most of the staff they have on payroll. When workers and sales associates perform optimally, the store runs smoothly, and customers have an enjoyable in-store experience. A good in-store experience means high customer satisfaction levels. This translates to more sales, more revenues, and a higher profit margin.
By optimizing staffing, businesses get to increase their bottom lines without cutting labor costs. They also attract more visitors, convert a good percentage of them to customers, and gradually become market leaders. The salient question now is: how does one optimize staffing? Find out below:
Measuring and optimizing the customer-to-staff ratio
Before optimizing, you need the means to measure. V-Count’s Business Intelligence Platform is your best bet for this. The cutting-edge retail management solution makes it possible for store managers to measure the customer/staff ratio at all times. In essence, it tracks store traffic and staff availability on an hourly (and daily) basis.
In addition to measuring, however, the Business Intelligence Platform also has a feature called “Store Optimizer.” This provides recommendations on how staffing can be improved. Managers get computer-generated prompts with messages like “you were understaffed between 17:00 and 19:00 on the 21st of June 2019. Consider scheduling accordingly for operational efficiency.” By following the prompts, managers can optimize customer-to-staff ratio and ensure that there are always enough attendants in the store at any particular time.
Maximize heavy traffic by reducing lost sales opportunities
Every store has periods of increased visitor traffic, periods when the manager cannot afford to leave the store understaffed. This is because more store traffic means more sales opportunities. It also means more first-time visitors that can be converted to regular customers with excellent service delivery. In addition to sales potential, however, peak periods also mean bottlenecks in the store, long queues at the checkout counter, and more customers than attendants. All these increase the likelihood of lost sales opportunities. To make the most of increased traffic, the manager needs to address them, starting from effective staff scheduling. If the store is well-staffed, queues and bottlenecks are resolved quickly, and customers get help whenever they need it.
V-Count’s Store Optimizer also comes in handy to maximize traffic. By measuring sales per traffic, the software provides information on how many sales opportunities are being lost per hour/day. The manager can then use the customer-to-staff recommendation feature to improve staffing during peak periods and ensure higher conversion.
Better in-store management boosts customer satisfaction
As a retailer, the goal is to make the buying process as easy as possible for every visitor. When people enter your store and fail to locate the products they want quickly; they move on to your closest competitor. When they need information about a product, and there are no attendants close by, they abandon their carts.
Good in-store management means that at every point in time, there are enough attendants on the sales floor to cater to the needs of every visitor. According to a PwC survey, 40% of customers say the factor that most improves their shopping experience is being attended to by a knowledgeable sales attendant. If you don’t have enough attendants available, your customers are left unsatisfied, and your sales numbers suffer as a result.
Other benefits of optimal staff scheduling
- The Store Optimizer feature of V-Count’s Business Intelligence Platform also indicates periods in which a store is overstaffed. These are typically the off-peak hours, and there is no need to maintain a full staff at these times. Rest and lunch breaks can be fixed for off-peak hours while a small team is tasked with overseeing the store.
- Rather than keep attendants idle on the sales floor, off-peak hours can also be used to take inventory, restock shelves, and improve product placement. When things start to get busy, all these secondary tasks would have been completed, and all attendants will be free to focus entirely on the customers.
- If the Store Optimizer shows lost sales opportunity while indicating that the store is adequately staffed, there is some insight to be gained. It may mean that the attendants are not very good at their jobs or that the store is listing the wrong products. The manager needs to figure which it is quickly.
Surveys indicate that customers highly value professional service. And excellent customer service can’t be provided if five sales associates are attending to for example 80 customers. With V-Count’s Business Intelligence Platform, retailers no longer have to lose sales and customers because they can’t figure out how to staff optimally.
To learn more about V-Count and our range of retail management software, visit our website. Prospective customers get to leverage a free trial, so get yours now.