Guest Column | June 12, 2017

Why Team Communication Is Key For A Mobile Workforce And Improved Customer Experience

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By Taylor Pack, VP, Customer Development, Branch Messenger

Various teams at different levels of a retail organization need to communicate in specific ways with each other and with other levels. Employees at headquarters communicate very differently with each other than store associates do. But what remains consistent is the fact information from headquarters needs to get to various other levels of the organization, and other levels of the organization need to get information back to headquarters. Headquarters communicates information to districts, districts communicate information to managers, and managers communicate information to shift workers (and the reverse).

A mobile workforce requires everyone be on the same page as far as how they communicate as a team. How do you connect your entire organization through mobile and accommodate everyone’s specific communication needs at the same time? The answer is through mobile applications that allow specific types of information to be accessed by everyone in the company, private conversations, and real-time communication.

All employees in the company should be on at least one common application that can be defined as the company’s home base so everyone is able to receive consistent messaging from headquarters and feel like they are part of the larger team. Beyond that, there could be different applications for various levels within the organization that are catered to the needs of that level. For example, shift workers in retail stores need to communicate with their coworkers and managers about their scheduled times to work, whereas at headquarters, employees don’t need this capability because they are typically salaried 9 to 5 workers.

Informed teams at the store level are better able to connect with customers because they are aware of what they might be shopping for, how they might be shopping, and the questions they might have. A knowledgeable staff improves the overall customer experience which is why it’s important information gets all the way from headquarters to shift workers as quickly as possible with as few barriers as possible.

It is also important that headquarters has the ability to check to make sure everyone is complying so they know they have effectively communicated information with the entire team. At the end of the day, shift workers are the face of the company and you want to make sure they are communicating the same information to every customer.

It can be challenging to get an entire workforce to go mobile with their communication, but the benefits are certainly there. Mobile applications are there to help assist retailers to communicate information, but it is ultimately up to the retailer to start actively using these vehicles for communication.