15 Sep Maximise retail operations software engagement in store
Make sure your colleagues understand the purpose of the software, even if they aren’t directly affected
You’ve invested in new in-store technology. Over the last few months you’ve watched demos, attended meetings and swapped countless emails with your new software provider. You understand the software inside out, and you know exactly what effect it will have on your business.
But with any new investment, if you want to get the most from it, you need your Senior Management team and some key colleagues on board. you need to be able to articulate exactly how the new software will improve sales and increase productivity.
Getting Senior Management on board at the very beginning will mean better engagement further down the line. You might even uncover some potential for your new software in others parts of the business too.
If you need support, speak to your software provider. They will be able to offer advice and resources to help you engage your colleagues.
2. Get store teams involved from the start
Don’t leave store teams in the dark until launch day. They’re the people that will use this software every day.
Of course, as you were selecting your new provider, you’ll have worked with stores from the beginning to make sure you understand the challenges that they’re facing on the shop floor – and you know you’re not solving a problem they don’t have.
Consider involving one or two key managers in the launch planning process, and think about how you’re going to sell the new product to the store managers and their teams. You could host a store manager conference, a training day or a webex.
Your new software will streamline operations, drive sales and improve efficiency. You know it’s going to have a huge impact on your business and your team.
So celebrate it!
Organise a launch that will introduce the software to store and Head Office teams. Show them the platform and how it works, the problems it’s solving, and how it is going to improve the business.
Test, test test – Before your begin presenting, test all technical equipment to make sure the demo runs smoothly. You don’t want team members thinking that the new software in unreliable.
Give a great demo – Use simple language, talk slowly and clearly and avoid buzzwords. The simpler the demo, the easier and more intuitive the software will be to use.
During the demo, it’s important to ensure:
- everyone understands how the new software will benefit the business and what problems it is solving
- you have a member of senior management present/explain why they have decided to buy the tool
- store teams have a clear understanding of how the software will be used day to day
- timelines, next steps and expectations are clear
- your software provider (if presenting) uses the correct terminology for your business
- store teams know where to go for support
- you don’t talk about costs
Log in – When the demo is over, make sure everyone can log in to the system straight away to capture their engagement!
Encourage regular use straight away
Psychology studies suggest that, to form a new habit, you must first make the activity part of your routine.
If you want your store teams to engage with the new retail operations software, then you should embed it in your everyday processes as soon as possible. If you don’t, then staff might revert to their old way of doing things, and you will struggle to maximise engagement.
2. Training for all abilities
Whether your workforce are 16 or 61, it’s important to provide training for all abilities.
SaaS software is intuitive to use and many users will not need any training at all. But, there may be times when additional support is necessary.
Take the time to ensure that everyone understands the software. You may want to host an Area Manager training day, stream a web-ex for store managers or send out a prerecorded demo to stores.
Many SaaS companies will offer a knowledge base for users, to provide ‘how to’ instructions and help with any teething problems. By offering a full range of support for all abilities you’ll maximise employee engagement.
3. Software Ambassador
Lead by example and appoint your company retail operations software ambassadors. These ambassadors could be your flagship store team, Centre of Excellence stores or a tech savvy Area Manager.
Let them share their experience, help others and drive engagement. They could write a small article in the company newsletter, give a presentation at a company conference or be an available contact during the on-boarding process, for new staff members.
4. Combat negativity
No matter how successful your launch day is and how your new retail operations software is, there will still be people that resist change.
Reach out to teams that aren’t logging in or have low usage. Find out why they aren’t engaging, and work with them to find a solution that will make the software work for them.
Take your time with them and don’t be disheartened – they don’t have to be converted immediately.
5. Don’t stop!
The work doesn’t stop when you are live!
Make sure you monitor usage and take a proactive approach to maintaining engagement.
Most SaaS companies will assign a Customer Success Manager to each customer. Their job is to analyse the data that is being collected from your business, and help you increase engagement and improve practice.