Maintaining an “always on” approach in-store
Flexibility isn’t just limited to a successful consumer journey or a successful retail strategy — it extends to the staff as well. Stores remain dependent on staff members to replenish, service and check-out consumers. Implementing a variety of self-service solutions offers retailers the added benefit of empowering staff to do more higher value-added work to enhance the shopping experience.
For example, a staff member can leverage technology to monitor and manage self-service devices remotely so that they can anticipate or quickly respond to any malfunctioning devices.
Staff members can also use a mobile, self-help app that leverages AI to self-resolve incidents 24/7 using a built-in, virtual assistant to leverage the same knowledge and intelligent decision trees used by field service engineers. This helps reduce time to resolve issues by eliminating the need to dispatch a field service engineer.
Apps like these can reduce the retailer’s total cost of ownership while increasing self-service solutions’ availability to consumers. In order to ensure that consumers’ desired journeys and solutions are “always on,” retailers should also ensure that staff is “always on” as well by equipping their team members with tools to aid self-resolution and facilitate tailor-made experiences in-store that really make a difference.
Tapping into “always on” support systems
Beyond simply installing self-service equipment or training store staff to facilitate smooth consumer journeys, it’s critical that the equipment is readily available — at all times — whether it’s self-service, POS or staffed-checkout. Any downtime, especially during the busy holiday season, can cause a massive loss of revenue for a retailer. To achieve a state of “always on” for self-service solutions, retailers need to structure and manage support for the technology in their stores. In many cases, this involves implementing remote and/or proactive support services.
Remote monitoring and support allow issues to be identified and interruptions to be fixed more quickly, significantly increasing the overall availability of in-store solutions to consumers. Proactive support boosts store efficiency, not only by resolving issues before they occur, but also by reducing or eliminating time-consuming, troubleshooting tasks that must be performed by staff when customers encounter interruptions in-store.
By working closely with technology providers to ensure that all service tickets are closed before the peak days start, and service engineers are available around the clock with a broad inventory of parts available, retailers can ensure “always-on” store operations.
The 2020 holiday shopping season poses a number of challenges to retailers, but it also offers new opportunities to empower and delight consumers by offering flexible shopping journeys and seamless solutions when they matter most. Successful retailers will leverage a variety of self-service solutions and deliver an “always on” approach to grant customers much-desired control over their shopping experiences this holiday season and beyond.
Lynn Beattie is director, retail strategy, at Diebold Nixdorf.