“Jim, what could we do differently?”
“Liz, how can I find out…?”
You have probably asked a vendor to explain how to use a solution feature. When was the last time you called customer service for a new perspective, a fresh approach to your process? Many clients call on Appriss® Retail Customer Success Managers and technical sales engineers for a different perspective on how to view and handle data and exceptions within their business environment. While this may seem unusual, the team members eagerly share insights based on their broad and deep retail experience.
A client called looking for ways to improve associate performance using a module of Appriss Secure®. They had found the low-hanging fruit and were pleased with the module’s success.
What they needed now, however, was a way to maintain end users’ enthusiasm. Users at store level had embraced the solution; how could they ensure the stores would build on the initial successes? Equally important, how could the analysts avoid falling into a rut?
The consultant spent two days in the client’s office, reviewed data, met with the analysts, and developed several options for the client. She recommended different areas to analyze, suggested new ways for the analysts to collaborate, and raised questions about patterns she found in the data. The retailer was able to implement changes immediately and derive more value from the existing solution.
What would a new view help you to do?
Explore a new module or feature
Insights from Customer Success can speed up your journey from novice to pro and help the module find its place in your process. This is especially true as you move from one version to the next, and the software is designed to help you do even more than before.
Refresh your routine
You probably look for fraud in the same way every day. After all, you know what has worked so far. However, a review by Customer Success can reveal persistent, undetected fraud schemes, associates' workarounds for broken systems, stores using discontinued processes, and other issues that you’re so used to seeing you don’t notice them anymore.
See beyond the audit
Store audits are a vital part of asset protection. If it has been more than two years since you have reviewed your audit questions, or if you have updated the store recently, you may be missing important components. Your Customer Success consultant can let you know what other retailers have added to accommodate changes such as self-checkout, buy-online-pickup-in-store, buy-online-return-in-store, or other features of modern retailing.
Update your return process
Our experts can review your existing signage and receipt language and make suggestions for improvements to make sure consumers are well informed.
Help you add more value to the business
Just because you’re right on track with reducing shrink and fighting fraud does not mean that is the only value your analytics can provide. Your Customer Success Manager can surface ways you can protect profits and reduce total loss by improving business processes.
In the client visit above, the representative noticed that store managers were responsible for all aspects of coaching associates. The rep suggested that the training department be looped in to improve initial training and to create refresher modules that could replace the initial one-to-one coaching for common issues. The outcome: Store managers had more time to devote to running the store, and associates received more consistent training.
Why look beyond the software?
Members of the Customer Success team at Appriss Retail have years of hands-on, retail loss prevention experience. They openly share their insights when asked, because their goal is to help clients lift company performance. Sometimes that means teaching an analytics technique; other times it means asking why there are patterns appearing in the data or why a procedure is in place.
A final tip from the experts
Stay curious. As you look at data, ask yourself why the patterns are happening, where do I continuously see sales reducing activities? By addressing the root cause, you save yourself analytics time, and you improve the quality of the analysis. For example, why does one store have far more “no sales” than its peers? You may find that the soft drink machine only accepts coins, so the associates are making change. When the problem is fixed, and your data is not being skewed, you will more readily find fraud that was being hidden by a broken process.
Keep asking questions of yourself, your colleagues, and Customer Success Manager—your multi-tasking secret to success.
This article was originally published October 29, 2019 and has been updated with new information.
Carrie Cassidy, Director, Marketing, Appriss Retail
A technology advocate for more than 25 years, Carrie makes information about advanced data analytics solutions accessible to retail professionals through a variety of media. She has written numerous white papers, case studies, and articles for a variety of industries ranging from motion control to human resources.