Improve your retail customer service by following BYOD trends

By Jennifer Goforth Gregory

| Retail

While some retailers are reminding their employees to stay off their phones during work hours, many retail stores are taking a new approach based on BYOD trends. They’re encouraging associates to use their personal mobile devices to serve customers.

The benefits of BYOD policies are well-documented. According to Cisco, BYOD can create a value of $1,650 per employee. However, BYOD has an even bigger benefit in retail because of the high level of employee turnover. Turnover rates for the retail workforce can reach as high as 120 percent. This means increased expenses and headaches when purchasing and setting up devices for each new employee, not to mention the logistics involved in chasing down devices when employees leave.

Making interactions more personal through technology

When a BYOD policy is introduced at your retail store, your associates can use their mobile devices to instantly provide customers with information without having to leave the sales floor. Each time an employee walks to the back of the store or to a register, the customer is left unattended. This gives customers a less personal experience and an opportunity to leave the store. Mobile devices boost interaction, and the employee stays with the customer the whole time.

Here are three ways retail stores are using BYOD policies to increase customer service:

  • To check inventory
    When a customer wants to know whether a shirt comes in a different color or if your store has a rug in a different size, an associate can check the real-time inventory right from a mobile device without spending 10 minutes on the main computer or hunting through the storeroom. And, when the associate goes to get the item, it takes much less time because the database gives its exact location.
  • To find out delivery information
    A purchase decision often depends on when the item will actually be delivered or installed. Associates can use their devices to check the next available delivery date right from the sales floor. Once the customer decides to buy the item, the employee can schedule the delivery right away.
  • To ring up the sale from the floor
    No one likes standing in line. By using tablets for mobile POS systems, associates can check out customers right on the sales floor, reducing the odds of a customer giving up and leaving due to a long line. Most important, the customers get better service and the employees spend more time developing relationships.


Best practices for using BYOD in retail

However, simply allowing associates to bring their phone to work doesn’t automatically give you the benefits of BYOD. You must strategically implement a policy and set up a program that ensures the security of company data while simultaneously protecting employee privacy.

Here are three best practices for using BYOD in retail according to recent BYOD trends:

  • Have a written BYOD policy
    It’s essential to spell out exactly what you expect from employees and what the business provides them. All employees should sign the document before connecting a personal device to the network. Your policy should include which types of devices are allowed; who pays for part of the data plan; whether there are any specific compliance regulations or security measures employees must take; which applications are forbidden; what constitutes acceptable use; which resources employees can access and which privacy rules the company will follow; employees’ responsibility if a device is lost or stolen and which procedures must be followed when an employee resigns or is terminated.
  • Require all employees to use mobile device management software on personal devices used at work
    Many common concerns about BYOD are solved by requiring all employees to use mobile device management (MDM) software on BYOD devices. This technology partitions devices to keep company data separate from employees’ personal data and allows IT administrators to remotely access the business portion of the device to update security programs, monitor usage or wipe company data remotely.
  • Automatically deliver all the profiles, credentials and settings to employee devices
    Your IT department has enough to do without setting up every employee’s phone. By setting up the MDM software to deliver profiles, credentials and settings directly to the device, you’ll know the device is secure without your IT department having to manually check each phone. Given the high rate of retail turnover, this saves considerable time and resources.

Bringing more mobile devices into the workplace may seem counterintuitive, but it works. By using more technology during your interactions with customers, you can increase the level of service and turn one-time customers into regulars.

Written By

Jennifer Goforth Gregory

B2B Content Marketing Writer

Jennifer Gregory has been writing professionally for over 20 years and specializes in big data analytics, cloud computing, personal finance, B2B, small business management, hospitality, Health IT, credit cards, marketing/social media, content marketing, retirement planning and insurance.…

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