Are you engaging your staff? Meaning – is your store staff and web staff actively participating and invested in your omnichannel efforts?
Go into any physical retailer, find the first salesperson and say, “I have a question about the product on your website”. Listen to their response. I love the gaze and fumble responses. A complete disconnect. Some get crafty and quickly “pull it up”, but others don’t even know the domain.
Next, send a website inquiry and ask about the sofa you saw in the store. It’s like they forgot they had a store.
Omnichannel will only work if the entire team is also omnichannel. No matter the role or what “channel” they are focused on – it needs to flow. Remember, omnichannel. The consumer doesn’t care how you do it. They just expect it. If you don’t, they will let you know by not letting you know ($$).
Here are a few quick tips to get the team more active in both channels…
When was the last time you had a floor sales meeting? (I think you already see where this is going.) If your floor team is meeting on the regular to discuss current promos, incentives, finance plans, spiffs, availabilities – add a segment to discuss current website initiatives, promos marketing efforts. This is a great time to share the current home page, online only offers and review the operational processes for communication. If your team at any point thinks, “this doesn’t matter to me because I work the floor”, they need to go. Seriously. Ok, maybe not go but that is why the great divide. Where do you think that store visitor originated (with high probability)? Worse – the web team that undervalues the power of the store. Omnichannel. One channel. Seamless. It’s about the consumer.
Take time to walk your entire team through the omnichannel journey as part of a training. Above we touched on communication. Very key. But does your entire team know how the parts need to work together? Do they understand the raw importance of that seamless experience? Correlate it to how they shop for things. How does the website visitor communicate with the retailer, and how does that handoff happen as the visitor goes online to offline to online and wherever they chose to go? How do chats work? Who does emails? Who answers the 800 number? All these operational items need to be universally understood.
How do you spiff, commission or incentivize your team? Remember, omnichannel must be viewed as a seamless experience for the consumer. So if you “incentivize” to drive or encourage staff activities (sell sell sell), are you doing it in a way that matches today’s consumer journey? Tricky – but I bet you are not. I bet you have silos, and silos are scary in omnichannel.
Change and adapt!
Communicate. Explore. Incentivize. Each of those tips require change and dedication. Often disruption as you change. But to really stand a chance, retailers need to empower their entire retail machine to engage with the consumer – wherever and whenever and however on whatever. So, make sure your team is aligned and informed and focused and rewarded as such.