There is a proven correlation between customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and the financial performance of a store. The results are evidence that frequent store visits are important to ensure that stores are receiving the right support and the most attention from the above store teams; allowing store associates to remain focused on heads up customer facing activities, in the front of the store.
With the right Store Walk program, each store gets exactly what they need, faster and more cost-effectively. And head office teams can respond to obstacles the stores face more productively, whether those challenges are store-level or systemic.
Many retail organizations have incorporated Store Walk, Store Visit or Store Audit programs, however they aren’t as effective or efficient as they could be:
- They take a lot of time and utilize scarce resources – and if the right tools and processes aren’t being used the results may not provide valuable insights.
- They can be disruptive to the store managers and take their focus away from the customers.
- The data collected isn’t always the right data; spreadsheets leave too much room for interpretation and sometimes a photo is worth a thousand words.
- Marketing, Merchandising and/or Operations are unable to access the data at the same time in the same place, or don’t trust cross-departmental sources to be accurate for their needs.
- There’s not a highly visible forum to share the store walk insights or to create highly visible action items and process improvement ideas.
- The store visits may not be ongoing or linked to corporate objectives that are focused on reducing costs and improving store efficiencies.
Because a store walk program is sometimes the singular most important mechanism employed to collect the information necessary to execute compelling programs, improve customer satisfaction or ensure regulatory compliance (sometimes all of those things at once), many retailers today are embracing tools that allow better visibility into how their staff is impacting sales on a store-by-store basis. The first step in selecting the right tool for your Store Walk program is confirming that the tool provides:
- A shared platform for creating action plans, addressing store challenges, and increasing visibility into store-level challenges across the organization
- An efficient way to keep store data accurate and up to date
- Improved access to store information for operations, merchandising and marketing
- A seamless way to collect new insights about the customer experience
- A streamlined data collection process that can be completed on-site, and off-line
- Intuitive connections between the Store Walk data and follow up action plans
- Store walk scores that can be leveraged to provide actionable data
- Photos, issue and audit history, and follow-ups all accessible in the same place and in a user-friendly format
Strengthen your Store Walks by eliminating manually-maintained spreadsheets and paper checklists while engaging your field teams with a mobile app that streamlines their Tasks, and links their Store Walk scores with their unique needs and challenges. And add a web platform that gets everyone on the same page with a better understanding of what’s impacting store performance, one store at a time.