Customer Experience is the Key to Success
Wireless retail is an unforgiving business. The influx of new competitors and customers increasingly turning to online channels have conspired to make surviving–let alone thriving–in the wireless space a monumental challenge.
For AT&T Portables, a rapidly growing authorized AT&T retail partner with 45 stores across the Mid-Atlantic and Tennessee Valley, the secret to bucking the trend and finding success has been a firm commitment to an exceptional customer experience and keeping employees productive during slow foot traffic periods. “Creating an experience that makes customers reconsider going elsewhere or online for their wireless needs is directly related to having an engaged and well-trained sales staff,” says Attique Rasheed, Director of Sales Operations at AT&T Portables. “As the market continued to become more competitive, we needed a way to make sure our sales team was fully prepared to maximize every customer interaction while also buttoning up our operations for greater efficiency, productivity, and loss prevention.”
Prevent a Blind Spot
AT&T Portables employs a select group of district managers to help oversee the company’s five-state territory. They’re tasked with implementing strategies for sales and floor operations in each store and training employees. This is part of a comprehensive plan to ensure that sales reps are armed with and using the right strategies and techniques at every possible opportunity to simultaneously optimize profitability and customer satisfaction. At the same time, they provide employee engagement and training around loss prevention best practices, helping to ensure that stores are taking the right precautions to protect against theft, burglary, or fraudulent transactions. However, with each manager responsible for as many as eight stores, providing appropriate coverage to every store in the region in-person was time-consuming and costly, as driving to each location could take hours and gas costs alone could reach hundreds of dollars per month for each manager on staff.
See All of Your Stores at Once
Eager to gain much-needed efficiency and oversight, while empowering regional managers to engage with employees more regularly, AT&T Portables adopted Envysion’s Managed Video Solution to get live, real-time visibility to the retail environment—without always having to physically be on location. With Envysion, Rasheed and his team have instant access to high-definition video and crystal-clear audio, providing unprecedented insight into every interaction at every store. Managers can use the video to monitor and assess individual customer experiences and review it with the store associate- either in person or remotely by conference call–as a coaching and training opportunity. And given the preponderance of idle time in the retail business, they can even use the system to ensure store staff are using their downtime wisely.
“In the past we’d have to pick a store to visit and end up spending most of the day there. We’d periodically check in with other stores by phone, but couldn’t get a real feel for what was going on there,” Rasheed says. “With Envysion, we can access all the video and audio from every store on any device, making it possible to be in every location at the same time and interacting with, coaching, and managing our staff without having to actually go there.”
Unrivaled Insight, Training, & Support
In addition to being a valuable coaching tool, Envysion proved to be an essential weapon for fighting theft, fraud,and profit-killing unproductivity. The time-stamped video and audio provide round-the-clock surveillance over high-traffic areas of the stores, such as display cases and ingress or egress points, to easily identify patrons or employees suspected of theft. And since Envysion integrates with the company’s point-of-sale (POS) system, AT&T Portables executives can also identify and investigate suspicious transactions that previously flew under the radar.
“At any given time, there might be hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of devices in a store that make great targets for theft by employees or outside parties,” says Elthon Muñoz, AT&T Portable’s Director of Sales. “Envysion not only makes it easy to identify those who are obviously stealing merchandise, but also allows us to compare POS transactional data with video and audio, and use Envysion Audit Services to uncover more subtle loss incidents that add up over time.”
Specifically, Muñoz cites the ability to identify and address employee time clock abuse as one of Envysion solution’s biggest benefits. “The time leading up to a major device release is usually a slow period for sales, so we have to manage our payroll dollars especially carefully,” he says. “Envysion helped us find a number of on-the-clock breaks or employees clocking in when they weren’t in the store and recoup some of the money we lost. We’d never have been able to do that in the past.”
For both Muñoz and Rasheed, Envysion has fundamentally changed the way they and AT&T Portable employees approach their time at work. “At the store level, everyone now knows that every aspect of the business is being closely watched and make them reconsider how important it is to behave in the appropriate manner and engage customers in the way they know they should,” Rasheed says. “For managers and executives, Envysion’s commitment to training and support directly results in the insights and control over store operations that make our lives much easier. No one in the business does it better.”