Building a winning virtual appointments operation in retail

Confer With

Now that you have decided to set up Virtual Appointments – what are the operational challenges for retail? Once you are over the technical hurdles, you then need to consider how you go about managing virtual appointments operationally. If you are successful, you have a gateway to to a high value route to market containing motivated shoppers who are happy to transact with you remotely.

Key factors involved in making virtual appointments a success in retail include:

  1. Team: Who takes the virtual appointments?
  2. People: What training is required of the teams undertaking virtual appointments?
  3. Process: Improving the performance of those teams
  4. Dealing with scale

Let’s consider these factors one by one.

1. Team: who takes the virtual appointments?

There are of course a number of options available to most mature retail operations. 

  • Concierge or personal Styling teams
  • Retail teams 
  • Consumer service teams
  • Specially hired in video selling teams

The most logical teams available are concierge teams and personal styling teams. These teams are used to giving a personal touch and are likely to be highly trained in this space.

The second that logically comes to mind is the retail team. Before COVID 19, no one really had retail a team just hanging around looking for something to do. With store closures, this provides an option to effectively utilise staff. Training challenges are present, but not insurmountable.

Customer service teams are highly skilled – particularly when considering how well customer service teams use the eCommerse toolsets in their daily work lives. The transition can be smoother than you think. 

Lastly, specially hired in teams for the purpose of increasing revenue through live video shopping is becoming more common. Some people thrive in front of the camera, have trained specifically in this space and match a business case to video commerce.

2. Training your team to be strong in video commerce.

As with all people functions, training makes a massive difference to performance. A well trained team, with specific skills to the task have an opportunity to be best in class in this space.

Confer with recommends making sure your team are trained well. Many elements can be done with automated training modules, but high performing teams go a step further to help them excel.

Depending in the team you have to work with, you will need to consider components of the following training g packages:

  • Basic software training
  • Product knowledge 
  • Basic selling skills
  • Video selling skills
  • Product immersion 
Virtual Appointments operational retail

3. Process: How to create a high performing sales team in video commerce

All high performance is about improvement. No one gets it right first time, and the ability to (1) identify what areas need improvement (through great reporting) and (2) the ability to intervene is key. The best virtual consultation teams know where they rock, what the sweet spot is and train the rest of the team on those secrets. 

The top performers are identified, and they are given more tools to perform with. Teams on the improve can be trained, mentored and given areas they improve upon. Skill sets are rated and calls are routed to the right people so customer needs are met first time. 

All of this becomes feasible using Confer With. It’s a closed loop where all activity is tracked and KPIs are focussed on identifying areas that will grow success.

4. How do you scale virtual appointments operations in retail?

Logically you look at one to one video consultations and you ask yourself: if demand grows, how do I deal with the scale and keep making money for the business? 

Great omnichannel operations know the role of face to face dialogue is key to getting a highly satisfied and loyal customer across the line. Video commerce metrics, when tracked effectively show marked improvements across the board. 

Effective modelling is key to unlocking this connection. The business case for growth tends to stem from the improved transaction metrics as well as the improved lifetime value metrics. When that link is created, the rationale for growth writes itself.

Other factors are at play. As with training, performance can improve and with improved performance, comes efficiency. Consistent, planned interventions with the virtual consultations teams as per of the process of managing the route to market aids efficiency. 

The Confer With consultation teams are on hand to support you through setting up scalable processes.

Another factor for scalability lies with the tools virtual consultation teams have at their disposal. Confer With provides immersion tools, conversion tools – which empower your team to meet customer needs quickly. 

Talk to us to help you through setting up a great remote virtual appointments operation in retail. It starts with a demo.

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