By Matt Vallone
If your stores limit access to keys, the answer is, too long. Which also means that customers most likely buy fewer items and aren’t happy with the in-store experience.
Naturally, I’m not suggesting reducing retail security to improve customer experience and revenue. Quite the opposite, in fact. MTI’s mission is to help prevent internal and external theft and shrink.
However, I do believe securing inventory must go hand in hand with empowering employees to provide faster customer service. How? By allowing them to access those items quicker without making trade offs that sacrifice asset protection.
Let’s investigate the issue further.
Customers loathe waiting. Too many of us must wait by the retail cabinet until the staff hands us our desired product. This is an experience we as consumers remember and will associate that with a negative overall brand perception.
And most customers have little patience. 75% of retailers who took part in the Retail Industry Executive Survey reported losing customers due to waiting times. 70% admitted their customers would wait less than 5 minutes before abandoning the purchase.
The survey also found people leave stores due to confusing in-store experiences, having to look for a product for too long or waiting for a manager to open a retail cabinet and hand over the product.
Unfortunately, the above reasons affect more than just customers. From conversations with store managers, I know that many spend as much as 2 hours per day responding to calls for keys. A frustrating situation for both the manager, their employees and especially their customers.
But what to do? Embrace technology. Use it to empower employees with access to products while preventing theft and shrinkage even more.
For consumer electronics retailers, long customer waiting times occur because of a single factor – Limited access to retail cabinet keys.
Employees cannot assist customers in real-time to hand them the product they want. Many consumers must wait for the manager to open the retail cabinet for them. Or hang around until the staff finally locates the keys and can assist them.
Such situations often happen due to a lack of any means to measure and track individual key usage to ensure security, accountability and prevent theft.
The solution is to use technologies like IoT to help retailers with a no-compromises approach to solving this problem.
When every staff member can access the goods, the store and its employees can provide immediate customer service. But its effect goes beyond having happy customers. Staff feels empowered, less frustrated and more appreciated, job satisfaction soars, and retention improves significantly.
RFID technology is a good example of how we can empower employees while maintaining the right controls to drive accountability. IoT technologies like RFID allow for the ease and speed customers expect and provide the accountability that asset protection requires. RFID keys are configurable, low-cost, and assignable to each employee. Think about the last time you checked into a hotel, how quickly they keyed a card for your room. Imagine that for your staff and customers, only more secure. The RFID technology allows the manager to track and configure keys for each employee. RFID allows for real-time monitoring and tracking so accountability is built into the workflow. Management has the visibility they need on their staff’s activity to reduce theft while employees are empowered, shortening customer wait times. New IoT technology solutions like MTI Connect enable retailers to stop making trade offs between customers and employees and start solving issues for both. Solving this problem doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game between employees and customers. Retailers that adopt smart retail solutions will have the opportunity to create amazing customer experiences in store and at the same time boost job satisfaction among employees. Find out more about smart retail.
About Matt Vallone
Matt is a senior leader with over 15 years of experience focused on developing hardware and software, leading strategy, business development, and managing teams. Matt has helped establish products and market fit for businesses launching new technology initiatives for retail.