Retail district managers have a difficult job. Multiple stores and management teams fall under their leadership, so they’re constantly juggling several high-stakes responsibilities. As Vice President of Retail Operations, how do you keep district managers focused on their objectives and striving for continuous improvement?
Let's consider three different ways to help your district managers accelerate financial growth, boost efficiency, and deliver unparalleled customer experiences.
1. Take advantage of new technologies.
Developments in consumer tech are quickly changing the retail landscape, from mobile wallets to on-the-go POS systems. Your district managers are already familiar with mobile technology, so why not align their workflows with tools that automate their work and help them focus more on customer experience activities?
It’s now possible to use mobile data management tools to conduct comprehensive store audits and site surveys without spending hours exporting data to spreadsheets. Real-time data transmission can help you make faster, more informed decisions as soon as an auditor notices something awry – not days after the store walk occurred.
You and your managers can enjoy these improvements with AccuStore, which streamlines communication across your retail chain by providing up-to-date, reliable data on your stores. Retail technologies aren’t just for consumers – they’re changing the retail operations landscape and impacting management, too.
2. Keep abreast of customer experience trends.
There’s a lot of buzz about "omni-channel" retail experiences these days, and it’s up to district managers to ensure that their stores are providing the shopping experience that customers desire.
Are your store environment, layout, and merchandising optimized to streamline the customer experience? Is it as intuitive to find products and make purchases in your stores as it is on the website? If not, actively identify non-compliance that stands between your corporate standards and consistent simplicity for customers. Regular, candid conversations with district managers can shed light on customer experience problems at different locations and bring you closer to the omni-channel ideal. Software platforms like AccuStore can also facilitate these conversations by providing transparency about performance trends.
Another trend in the customer experience arena is personal selling. Online stores like Etsy and classified listings like Craigslist make it easy for consumers to get the products they want without going to the store. Get them into your brick-and-mortar location by pinpointing opportunities to make shopping more personal and local. From stocking brands with stories that resonate with buyers to experimenting with new store environment set ups, look for ways to add a personal touch to the shopping experience and make it feel more meaningful.
3. Make the work experience as delightful as the customer experience.
As you endeavor to provide an unparalleled customer experience, don’t forget to give management teams an excellent work experience, too. The more empowered your team is, the harder they’ll strive to hit sales goals and provide the best customer service.
For district managers, encouraging high morale among team members depends heavily upon leadership approach and communication style. Inspire others to do great work:
- Make yourself available: When district managers know you’re quick to respond to an issue, they’ll feel more comfortable contacting you when a problem or question requires your attention.
- Be a partner: Don’t be a domineering boss; be a partner and leader whom district managers can confide in.
- Celebrate successes: All managers expect you to point out their shortcomings, but be sure to praise their successes just as often and with equal gusto. Remember: there are a thousand tasks going on at your stores every day getting in the way of their key objectives. Empowering field teams with tools that make them part of the solution will help them feel successful.
Ultimately, you want to focus your district managers on building relationships with stores. Enhanced experiences for customers and employees strengthen the relationship between people and the brand you represent. The same holds true for technology, which has the potential to transform how customers shop and how managers encourage buying activity.
Bolstering these crucial relationships can increase sales, streamline operations, and keep management teams accountable for store performance – which ultimately makes your job easier.
AccuStore’s mobile insights, photo captures, tasks, and online store surveys are key to helping district managers be more effective. With real-time access to accurate, actionable data, you will empower management teams to execute flawlessly and deliver better experiences to customers. Contact us today to learn how AccuStore helps you strengthen working relationships among stores, management teams, and executive decision makers.