Who are the omnichannel heroes? The people who reach across the organization to link online and offline customer experiences? The people who pick up the slack when a company is still working on creating a seamless experience for customers?
A: Store employees.
Store employees are the final link in the omnichannel customer experience. They are the ones who assist customers the second they enter the store and are tasked with figuring out how to exchange a product bought online that their specific store doesn’t carry (ugh!).
How do we make these disgruntled employees feel like the heroes that they are?
A: Changing their mindset, improving communication, and rewarding them.
What if instead of employees feeling helpless, they felt empowered? Giving employees the power to make decisions quickly on the fly to solve problems unforeseen not only shows employees that the company trusts them to make the best decision and values their judgement, but also helps customers perceive that they had a seamless experience. At the end of the day, customers expect to be able to buy products when and where they choose and find information when and where they choose. That’s why it is important that an omnichannel customer experience feels seamless. If store employees are made to feel like they are a critical link in the omnichannel strategy of their company and the company is relying on them, then they will be more engaged at work. Engaged workers are happier workers. Happier workers provide a better customer experience.
Communicating to employees the specific procedures that are in place and will be in place to handle omnichannel transactions is key. It is also important that employees are able to have an easy way to communicate with each other on a daily basis. Apps that allow employees to instantly message each other or their manager helps them answer questions quickly. The quicker and more accurately that a question can be answered, the better.
Heroes should be rewarded for going above and beyond for their company. When they solve a problem, they should be able to communicate that with their company and be rewarded for it. Oftentimes, it is easier for store employees to solve a customer problem than for corporate because they understand their customers and their unique needs on a face-to-face basis.
Should store employees wear capes if we are treating them like heroes?
Literally?! I guess it depends on the culture of your company… But seriously, it can help if store employees have titles that incorporate problem solving terms or customer experience terms. This helps them have a sense that they are “officially” a problem solver for the company. They might also wear unique uniforms that help them stand out as people who are able to be extra helpful to customers.
In closing, it is important that store employees are aware that they are a critical link in a company’s omnichannel customer experience and are treated like the heroes that they are.