Mothercare shops increase efficiency & profits with CST systems
Productivity improvements and theft prevention amply justify implementation
Mothercare, the UK’s best known retailer of mother and baby goods, welcomed an approach from Call Systems Technology (CST) to introduce the newest retail systems and stipulated that, if a purchase were to result, infrastructure changes and IT support must be minimal.
The systems CST recommended proved, on implementation, directly to increase store profitability. Mothercare is using a lightweight retail headset system from Quail Digital, for immediate, easy team communication, with CST Cashier and ServiceCall™ buttons to request assistance throughout a store.
“Productivity improved almost immediately. It makes the whole in-store customer service experience much more professional and productive and increases the amount of time our assistants can spend with customers”, notes Ben Voce, Mothercare store manager at Westfields in Stratford.
Previously the stores used desk phones and loudspeaker announcements to communicate with staff and request assistance or information, often leaving customers waiting. However, the phone and speaker system did not guarantee contact and loud PA announcements were annoying to customers and staff.
The headsets allow discreet, hands-free two way communication, so that staff can remain engaged with their customers while attending to their queries. In key areas of a store, such as Home & Travel and Car Seats, ServiceCall buttons enable customers to gain staff assistance quickly. Discreet staff communication, via the wireless headsets, replaces all loudspeaker announcements.
At some stores, the system is also being used in car parks, improving the security of staff working in the car-seat fitting bays, enhancing customer service.
These innovations improved customer service and store security and reduced shrinkage and costs.
“We were very pleased when the new system helped prevent a £1200 theft from one of our stores. Being able to communicate instantly when a danger or a threat presents is a major improvement over our previous systems.”
Stock replenishment is likewise easier and more effective, because staff in the warehouse can communicate continuously with staff on the floor while checking stock levels. This improvement stopped double handling, reduced damage and increased productivity.
The system probably saves 20 -30 trips a day to and from stockrooms- on average - as a couple of hours per day [in a big store], so the savings soon mount up. Significantly reducing unnecessary trips maximises shop floor presence, improves customer service and enhances upsell and cross-sell opportunities,” concludes Ben Voce.
Mothercare has implemented these new systems into five shops, so far. More installations will take place in 2012.
Improved store ambience, staff productivity, customer service and security amply justified investment into the new systems.