How Using Conversity Can Help with Employee Retention

Finding and retaining skilled retail staff members can be incredibly challenging nowadays, particularly when you consider the statistic that between May 2022 and May 2023 the number of people employed in retail in the UK declined by 48%. This highlights that it is now harder than ever to engage and retain employees to become experts in your business. 

There are many reasons that staff members can end up struggling. This ranges from the expectation for expertise from customers along with a highly personalised customer experience, to the rapid enhancements in technology that can sometimes feel daunting to some people.

However technology can really help your staff and make their job easier when used correctly. Having the correct technology for both customer and staff member can allow your retail staff to focus more on delighting the customer, offering a good experience, while having all the tools and knowledge at their fingertips.

One example of this is Conversity’s highly personable guided journeys. By using advanced technology, algorithms and backed by an expert team of psychologists and retail experts, you can reaffirm the 92% of staff who say that having the right technological tools significantly enhances their job satisfaction and overall work efficiency.

The Impact of Technology on Employee Satisfaction

When technology and tools are matched up to the needs of your retail workforce, this can really help to boost overall productivity and staff happiness. When implemented correctly and thoughtfully, it can transform everything from the day-to-day operations by alleviating burdens of manual repetitive tasks, to overall visibility and knowledge of your customers. 

Having access to intelligent recommendations and personalised customer insights via something as simple as a handheld screen can allow your staff to offer a more tailored and satisfying shopping experience. This will not only increase your staff members’ confidence in delivering recommendations but it will also increase the confidence of your customer in your brand, product offerings and customer service. Having these two things working together in harmony helps to keep your employees motivated and engaged, and goes a long way towards circumnavigating many issues in a sector known for its high staff turnover rates. 

In 2020, McKinsey Global Institute reported that 52% of retail activities could be outsourced to AI and automation. And within a sector where happiness is often low and the turnover of staff in the UK is at 50%, the role of technology should be used to help reshape employee responsibilities in order to make them more efficient. Enabling employees to focus on more complex and rewarding aspects of their jobs means that there is a chance to enhance job satisfaction and employee retention.

Any technology that takes something as complicated as personal recommendations and turns it into something that is easy to access and understand will bolster a positive working environment. This levelled-up support will increase your operational efficiency, and will also nurture a culture of continuous improvement and learning with your staff in a positive way. It will no longer be about training them for the bare minimum, but to help them become brand experts and ambassadors. Investing in employees skills and product knowledge demonstrates a marked interest in them leading to enhanced staff loyalty and overall workforce stability.

Data-Driven Insights and Training Opportunities

Access to extensive data can help any business, but when it comes to retail having in-depth knowledge of your customer behaviours and preferences can provide staff with a much deeper understanding of the people coming to your retail outlets. 

Being able to analyse trends and customer feedback through a range of touch points can give management the insight on how to lead the workforce forward. 

By analysing trends and customer feedback, managers can pinpoint areas where training can significantly benefit staff. For instance, if data indicates a rise in interest in a particular product line, training can be specifically designed to arm staff with detailed knowledge and effective sales strategies for those products. This approach ensures that training is relevant and directly aligned with current market demands.

Access to comprehensive customer data also empowers employees by enhancing their knowledge and ability to manage customer interactions confidently. Employees who are well-informed and confident are more effective at engaging with customers, which not only elevates the level of service but also improves their own job satisfaction.

Integrating these data-driven insights into daily operations enables businesses to continually refine their strategies and practices. As a result, employees are not only more skilled but also more adaptable, fostering a dynamic and responsive workforce ready to meet the evolving demands of the retail industry.

Increasing Sales and Customer Intimacy

Customer intimacy is something that takes customer service to the next level. It’s not just about having the information to sell to the customer – that’s simply not enough of a reason in the digital age. Being able to know and “befriend” your customers as a brand is the difference between retaining customers today or losing them to competitors. 

When customers feel understood they are more likely to purchase, they are more likely to trust what your retail staff are saying, and this in turn encourages them to to become repeat purchasers. This also alleviates the pressure to sell which can be a factor in many retail environments. If a salesperson in store feels that they are able to help guide purchases, rather than aggressively chase sales figure targets because they know that the information that the customer is getting is what they require, it can often ensure that their motivation is to help the customer rather than hit a target. While they may not realise it, sales approached in this way can be dictated by non-verbal communication that stops the customer from feeling at ease. It also means that they gain confidence because they see their recommendations and help as being the thing that helps customers make that final decision before purchase. This can be a great booster for employee morale.

Being able to provide an environment that builds those all important relationships with your customer, while also demonstrating that employees can have a positive impact on this customer lifecycle leads to a much more fulfilling role at work. Not only will your staff be retained, but they are likely to be more engaged and positive during their time with the company. 

Conversity’s Role in Enhancing Employee Morale and Retention

All the above can be done with the help of Conversity. And while many would be quick to assume that our platform and solutions are mainly driven towards recommendation to customers, and even could see the platform as being in competition with real-life staff, this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Customer experience is paramount. In a digital world the in-store experience is now exactly that – an experience. If a customer wants to buy a particular product they can just order it online, they can even be pushed towards using an interactive journey from Conversity to do so. But if a customer walks into a retail store that typically indicates someone who is shopping for the experience, or requires more reassurance and support to make a purchase. These are typically purchases that require a little more investigation as they are larger ticket items or specialist offerings.

By integrating a bespoke journey from Conversity into the in-store experience, retail staff can shift their focus to a more enriching and educational customer experience. This not only helps to convert sales but also allows your retail staff to cut out most of the unnecessary noise of retail queries and become more specialist and product knowledgeable. 

This can be done in a number of ways:

Empowering Your Staff With Knowledge

Our tools are designed to collect detailed data on customer preferences and behaviours through interactive quizzes that customers complete online or in-store. This information becomes a learning resource for retail employees, equipping them with the knowledge to understand and predict customer needs more effectively. Such insights allow staff to offer tailored advice and solutions, making their role more strategic and less transactional.

Educational Engagement with Customers

Being able to guide a customer through a personalised quiz that explores their true needs and desires means that every interaction is a learning opportunity on both sides. Customers feel that they are getting educated and thoughtful recommendations that are suitable to their specific needs. And, as a retailer you can understand your customer base on a deeper level and guide your staff towards being able to deliver truly incredible and personalised customer service. 

Enhancing Conversions 

Interactions will simply have a much higher chance of conversion naturally. By using data to enhance and shift the interactions with customers to a more education-led approach every party in the process will feel like they come away with something. 

  • The customer feels like the brand understands and has their needs at the forefront
  • Your staff member has confidence that they are making the right recommendations because the customer is already pre-qualified either through a quiz results or from the larger scale of data collection available.
  • Finally, as the retailer, you are safe in the knowledge that you are providing the best product to the right customer. 

Practical Applications in Diverse Retail Environments

So how does an interactive quiz work in this context? What does a “successful” interaction for each party involved look like? We have put together three hypothetical examples in different industries to show how partnering with Conversity can help you to engage with both your customers and your staff as well.

The Jewellery Retailer

You are a mid-range jewellery retailer and a customer comes in looking for a gift for a significant other. They are able to use an in-store screen to take a guided journey through their intended giftee’s preferences and their relationship with the recipient. This not only gives the customer a small, personalised idea of gifts, zeroing in on something that will suit the occasion, but they are then able to liaise with the salesperson to ask about more specific elements of the gift. A salesperson may be able to tell the customer about the origin of particular gems, or how sustainable the materials are rather than having to go through the entire process of finding a gift for the customer not to purchase. This saves time and allows the salesperson to offer a more meaningful and insightful service to a pre-qualified customer that is likely to convert.

The DIY Retailer

A customer who is new to home improvements can come in with an idea of what they want to achieve based on their preferences rather than technical knowledge. For the uninitiated a DIY store  can easily lead to overwhelm, not just for the customer coming in, but also a staff member who is asked very general questions like “What is the best paint?” Customers that are utilising a Conversity-created journey in-store are able to drill down into the best approaches for their specific projects, whether it’s renovating a kitchen or building a patio.

It’s at this point a salesperson can then be one hand for more specific requests about where products are in the store and helping them to choose between a couple of options rather than an entire shop of timber, for example. This focused assistance not only enhances the customer’s shopping experience but also increases the efficiency of the interaction.

Added to this, the retail staff can benefit from the system’s overall ability to aggregate the data. A store that is based close to the sea may need to train their staff on a deeper level for things such as waterproofing and preventing or treating rust. Whereas an area that is more rural may need to train their staff more about landscaping and outdoor structures, which are more likely to be relevant to their customer base. Being able to localise the training approach informed by “big data” (which can also incorporate data collected from journeys taken on both social media and the website as well), can help to make staff more knowledgeable and confident. The easier that staff find to help customers, and the less repetitive queries they need to address, they are more likely to be able to easily solve issues and help customers more effectively, increasing their overall happiness at work.

Outdoor Sports Retailer

This level of insight is also really helpful for any store that offers specialist hobby equipment. A customer can walk into a store and go through an interactive questionnaire about an upcoming camping trip. By answering questions more about the terrain, their expectations of comfort and other questions directly linked to their individual responses (offering a truly personalised customer experience), they are then able to pinpoint the exact items they need from sleeping bags and tents, to cookware and rubber mallets.

This streamlining means that the salesperson can then step in if the customer has more specialised queries. Does this particular stove work at altitude? Would this particular awning require a C rail? The customer then feels like they are making a truly informed decision and the staff member can give specific feedback that will increase conversions. 

The collected data also creates a great basis for predicting trends and the queries that may come up. If in May they know they are going to see an increase in tent purchases due to the upcoming school holidays and festival season, they can prepare stock and train the staff based on what suits those queries. 

The Benefits Of Technology Supported Operations

For any business that operates in the retail space in the AI age, having a technology supported operation is valuable. By being able to automate, aggregate and analyse on the individual level, as well as offering a unified retail experience, a retailer can focus on the more important aspects of “personal” management. This can be in the form of training staff and ensuring that they are happy and fulfilled in their roles, to making sure that the customer only needs to interact with a staff member when they are primed to make a purchase. 

It also leads to a healthier bottom line. In another report by McKinsey, retailers who implement and invest in technology-enabled functions report an average increase of 6% in profits as well. This isn’t just on profits either, as by retaining staff you are able to save on hiring, basic training and other recruitment related expenses. It’s far more financially beneficial to create an ecosystem of promotion, continuous learning and enhancement through currency employees than hiring new ones. 

For more information on how Conversity can not only help you retain your employees and increase overall employee satisfaction, but also help you to help your customers, get in touch today for a free consultation and demonstration.