Thought Leadership

Why good on-site communication is vital in retail

Communication is important in any business. But it’s especially crucial across brick-and-mortar retail sites. In large corporate companies, on-site communication often travels top-down via email or intranets, landing on the desk of upper management in stores. It is rare for all employees to have full access to such communications. If this information isn’t disseminated quickly and clearly, it can result in staff confusion and impact customer experiences in stores. With more than a year of last-minute lockdowns and health and safety changes, many retailers have realised the need to update and transform on-site communications for the future.

Effective communication between marketing and retail stores is critical to building better customer relationships. While marketing teams create messages that resonate with customers, shop floor staff speak directly to customers. If they do not learn and understand the messages, customers will not receive the intended experience.

In any multi-site brick-and-mortar retailer, the head office implements new information, product promotions and messages daily, and shop floor staff need to learn and understand these messages to communicate to customers on the front line. The impact of poor communication is particularly debilitating for large-scale international companies with multiple brick-and-mortar sites. Different languages, confusing time zones and multiple players from different hierarchies within the company can easily result in less than perfect delivery of key information.

Here are a few ways you can improve communication in your stores.

Engage and empower your employees

The foundation of your relationship with your customers is your brand. And who represents that brand? Your frontline employees.

Building good relationships and communicating effectively with on-site employees can transform your business. Poor communication creates a disconnect between upper management and your on-site staff. This results in poor morale and prevents stores from reaching their potential.

Investing time and effort in your employees and building a relationship with them is incredibly important but can also be incredibly difficult to do, particularly in rapidly growing companies. After all, if you work in the marketing department of a global corporation, how are you supposed to connect with Sandy in sales? Sandy manages one of your brick-and-mortar stores in Albuquerque, New Mexico. With your office located halfway around the world on the 54th floor of a London skyscraper, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be running into her at work. Regardless, it’s still crucial that you can communicate important information to Sandy, and collect specific feedback from her, when you need it.

Utilising an effective form of communication can foster community and a feeling of togetherness in your business. If Sandy and her team of frontline employees feel valued and are engaged in their tasks, they’ll be better motivated to work hard and want their store to do well.

One way to improve your brick-and-mortar site performance is by employing digital tools to engage and empower your employees. Colateral’s online platform helps to streamline communication between the head office and your brick-and-mortar locations and can take the stress out of marketing for your on-site team. Doing away with multiple lines of communication that can easily get lost or forgotten and offering a central channel of clear instructions and updates can improve productivity and minimise employee confusion.

Transform your customer into a regular with consistent on-site communication

Improving customer satisfaction and turning visitors into regular customers is a fundamental part of running any business. To ensure your customers keep coming back, it’s important that they continue receiving efficient and friendly customer service from your on-site employees. Your staff should be fully trained in proper communication, know your company’s customer service policies and be up-to-date on current promotions and offers. It also pays to educate your employees on dealing with frustrated customers and how to deal with complaints efficiently. Happy employees translate to happy customers, and vice versa.

Build trust and credibility at your brick-and-mortar locations

As trends surrounding ethical consumption and environmentally friendly practices soar in popularity, customers are expecting more honesty and transparency. Open communication is paramount to building brand credibility and earning the trust of your customers. Open communication can be achieved in several ways. For example, enabling employees to champion their store on social media is a fantastic way of engaging directly with your target audience and fostering a community.

Another way of building credibility with your customers is by giving your employees the tools they need to feel confident and comfortable in their day-to-day tasks. Customer service is all about communication. It can be as simple as empowering your staff to manage their own tasks to giving them detailed information on the products or promotions you want to highlight each week.

Strengthen respect and on-site communication to maximise productivity

Employees that don’t feel respected or a part of their team are more likely to jump ship. Therefore, establishing trust between your employees and upper management should be a priority if you want to avoid a high staff turnover. A lack of communication slows down productivity and heightens stress within the hierarchies of your workplace. This results in a less collaborative, problematic environment.

Building a strong and mutually beneficial relationship always starts with open communication. It can be as simple as replacing old-fashioned intranets and endless emails. Modern digital tools allow easier communication between the hierarchies of your business.

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On-site communication with Colateral

On-site communication may seem a daunting prospect. The reality is opening up a dialogue between your on-site employees, and upper management is hugely important in keeping both your customers and staff happy. This can maximise profits, improve head office insights and empower your employees.

By organising your visual marketing campaigns with Colateral’s end-to-end management software, you’re giving your staff on-site and in the office an easily accessible digital tool they can use to communicate effectively. By centralising communication in the workplace to a single digital platform, employees can prioritise their tasks and feel informed. Communication with other members of their team will also be more efficient.

Whether you’re a retail store or a chain of restaurants and hotels, streamlining communication in your workplace has never been so simple.

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