Retail chains where different levels of responsibility within the organization communicate with each other about critical business processes succeed and are managed more effectively than those that do not. The question is how to foster a culture of communication within your retail chain with the right integrated internal messaging software.
It doesn’t matter what retail industry you’re in. If store managers aren’t communicating with regional managers and your corporate office, your operations won’t function properly. Likewise, if regional managers aren’t intrinsically connected with buyers, business development, and transportation, you’ll have holes in your retail operations. Whether you have a single store or a chain of retail stores, you need to be able to communicate effectively with all members of your team.
ChainDrive’s integrated internal communication tools are designed in response to the demand for a means of communication and collaboration in the retail environment – a means of communication that goes far beyond the limitations of text or email.
Here are ten ways to foster internal communication across your chain stores with strong internal communication tools:
1. Interactive communication in real-time
First, integrate a messaging tool with your point-of-sale terminals and back-office applications to ensure that your retail store employees and corporate office members can communicate effectively and efficiently. Integrating a messaging client with these systems means that your store employees don’t have to leave the systems they regularly use to communicate critical business concerns or switch between applications. It provides real-time data and analytics on store performance that drives important decisions.
2. Boost employee engagement & training
Empower your staff by engaging them in meaningful communication. An integrated messaging tool keeps in touch with all key personnel and strengthens relationships.
Retailers can use integrated messaging to automate training reminders, safety requirements, and company-wide or individual information and announcements. It facilitates associate training, performance feedback, and coaching, with personalized learning paths and employee spotlighting.
It allows associates to communicate and coordinate shift changes and coverages with each other to relieve pressure on managers and reduce the costs of missed shifts. Communicating positive company messages can also significantly improve company loyalty and reduce employee turnover.
3. Make your communications mobile-friendly
Your communications need to be mobile and tablet-friendly in today’s retail environment. Store managers may be in the middle of aisle 9, or regional managers may be on the road. Don’t rely solely on office-to-office communications. Mobile communications enable you to communicate with all employees at all times, in real-time. You can even reach your sales professionals when they are on the floor and away from the POS terminal.
4. Make it easy to send targeted messages
Only some people in your organization need to participate in every discussion. Allow all employees in your organization a way to target specific messages only to their intended recipients. You can easily target your messages to specific groups, stores, departments, or individuals within your retail organization.
5. Make read receipts available
People are busy. Not everyone has a ready response when they read a message. Make read receipts available, so senders know that recipients have received a message without needing an immediate response. Notifications let employees know when they have new messages, and read statements let staff know when their messages have been read.
6. Automatic message scheduling
Set triggers that allow you to schedule messages when certain events occur, especially in Distribution & Inventory Management. For instance, when you transfer merchandise from one store to another, a message can be sent automatically to notify the receiving store or when a warehouse shipment is on the way to a specific store with special orders, providing visibility and daily reports.
7. Facilitate large attachment transfers
Your retail chain is a business organization. Your team members need to be able to share information easily with few barriers. By allowing attachments with your messages, you ensure that employees receive important documents such as purchase orders, product information, receipts, etc.
8. Multi-channel communication
Create channels that allow you to segment your staff by specific audiences or communication streams. You can segment by stores, regions, management teams, and even departments. Store managers should be able to communicate with each other as well as with their regional managers and various departments at corporate headquarters. Make that communication possible.
Automatic replies, live chats, and pop-up chats have been a major trend in recent months, and Facebook offers the opportunity to integrate live chat messenger on your website.
9. Smart search
When team members need to refer back to a previous conversation, it should be as easy as a search. Smart search functionality makes it easy to find the data that applies to the message.
As mentioned earlier, not everyone in your retail chain is always in their office. Regional managers tend to travel. Other staff members may be required to travel. Make it easy to communicate via mobile by providing roaming access to the signals that make those communications possible.
Successful retail organizations are communicative organizations. That’s why you need integrated internal messaging. An internal messaging application allows your store staff to focus on customer service and provides accurate, real-time information needed to put the customer first and make your retail business profitable.
Streamline Communication with ChainDrive Internal Communication Tools
ChainDrive is the best internal communication software for workplace intranet, internal communication tools, and employee engagement platforms. Because ChainDrive IIM is fully integrated with the point-of-sale interface and the rest of the ChainDrive platform, it eliminates the need for external messaging applications. Details such as customer purchase history, purchase orders, invoices and more can be viewed and referenced without compromising security because all information resides within the ChainDrive environment. The centralized database provides security for your intercommunications which gives freedom to collaborative interaction. Request a free demo to see how we can scale up your retail chain stores.