Untapped Potential in Retail

The Three S’s

What impact do size, sector and (existing) solutions – the three S’s, as I’ve dubbed them – have on a company’s willingness to adopt new solutions? Let’s look at an example.

Recently, I began working with a UK-based, independent travel agency. They are a real and rare high street success story: close to 1,000 staff, turnover north of £600m and strong growth. Despite these impressive numbers, they still compete with far larger giants, such as market leaders Tui and Thomas Cook, with their £16bn & £9.6bn turnovers, respectively.

The agency’s existing communications solution was competent and reliable, but nothing more. Moreover, it wasn’t adding value to the work done by the travel agents, their most important assets. The travel agency didn’t see this issue, however, and felt that a new solution wouldn’t offer enough business value for a company of their size in their sector, especially considering their current solution was operational.

However, when the agency needed to consolidate offices and I was brought in to examine their communications technology, I came to a different conclusion. There were in fact four main areas in which their existing system was seriously lacking, limiting their ability for future growth.

Untapped Communications Potential

Customer experience: The agency desperately needed to modernize its customer experience. For example, by combining routing algorithms with customer data, they had the ability to provide more tailored responses to customer queries. And, the agency could expand the way their customers interact with them – via WhatsApp, social media and more – to create the omnichannel experience customers expect nowadays.

Productivity: By leveraging Google AI-driven virtual assistants and chatbots, travel agents would no longer have to do tedious, monotonous work. Instead, they could focus on answering more complex customer queries and leave the repetitive stuff to artificial intelligence. More work would get done each day with less effort.

Flexibility: Employee demand for flexible working arrangements was high, and the existing technology couldn’t rise to the occasion. By providing an integrated collaboration toolset available on any device, the travel agency could provide employees with the ability to work at home or on the go when necessary.

Reduce Costs: Maintaining multiple standalone communications solutions was expensive and inefficient. Consolidating these solutions would free up valuable money to be used elsewhere.

After discovering this untapped potential to increase customer and employee satisfaction while helping their bottom line, the travel agency embarked on a multi-year project to replace their entire existing system.

But the question still remains: How many other retailers are not taking advantage of the opportunities unified communications, collaboration and customer experience solutions can offer? Don’t let concerns about business size, sector and existing solutions get in the way of increasing your competitive edge.

Retail organisations have unique needs, and their communications solutions should be tailored accordingly. Learn how Mitel can help. >


Mark Taylor

Head of Retail and Wholesale Sales

Mark Taylor is Head of Retail and Wholesale Sales at Mitel, focused on enabling customers to realise the benefits of unified communication and contact centre solutions. With over 15 years of industry experience, Mark is adept at helping organisations address issues of cost control, omnichannel retailing, improving customer experience and loyalty and increasing productivity.

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