In the competitive world of retail, providing excellent customer service is crucial to survival.
But to meet evolving consumer demands, your employees not only need the right support, but the right digital tools too. For this reason, retailers are increasingly turning to solutions such as Microsoft Office 365 to help them deliver faster, more productive results.
When your employees can communicate and connect from anywhere in the world – with the latest information at their fingertips – they can provide the quality of service today’s customers have come to expect.
What is Microsoft 365? A brief introduction for retailers
Microsoft Office 365 is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that delivers familiar Microsoft products, along with other productivity tools. These include:
The suite runs on Microsoft cloud servers and is available via a monthly subscription plan. You can also integrate it with on-premise data to ensure continuity across both environments.
As a cloud service, Office 365 is accessible from any device in the world, allowing retail businesses to check inventory, track KPIs and share product information on-demand. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at the ways Microsoft Office 365 is making a difference in the retail industry.
1. Improve internal and customer-facing communication
With 82 percent of customers preferring an immediate response to their queries, instant access to data is invaluable to retail teams. Mobile devices have changed the game for everyone, making it possible to quickly and efficiently respond to customer queries from anywhere in the world.
Microsoft Office 365 makes it easy for customer-facing staff to access the resources they need to secure a sale or delight a returning shopper. They can also share information with management staff, allowing for more effective two-way communication. Integrated Office tools such as Teams enable your employees to report issues or trends and offer valuable suggestions in real-time.
2. Build a securer, more accessible workspace
Some of the world’s biggest retailers are implementing bring your own device (BYOD) policies. With frontline staff now able to access company apps from their own smartphone or tablet, it’s becoming easier than ever to sell on the shop floor. But with great flexibility comes an even greater need for watertight IT security.
To help growing businesses avoid potential data breaches, Microsoft builds Enterprise Mobility + Security into all its Office 365 software. This helps unify security management across users, devices, apps, and services, protecting data and intellectual property wherever it resides. The enterprise-grade security of Microsoft Office 365 retailers to provide access to critical resources on employee-owned devices, without compromising their integrity.
3. Enjoy more flexible user management
Flexibility is key in the modern workplace. Retailers must adapt to changing demands overnight and, often, they don’t have the technology or the mindset to keep pace. Seasonal fluctuations in activity are particularly difficult to navigate, with many businesses wasting hard-earned money on inflexible onboarding systems.
As a subscription-based service, Microsoft Office 365 is perfect for retailers that employ additional staff at peak times. It’s easy to add or remove a user from your system, replacing the need to buy and manage multiple licences, identities, and devices for each employee.
4. Provide a familiar and intuitive toolkit
The beauty of Microsoft Office 365 is its familiarity to enterprise desktop users. With 36 percent of employees admitting they waste time resolving issues with unfamiliar software, there’s a clear need for intuitive tools.
Speeding up the adoption of new technology is essential for a number of reasons:
- Less time and money spent on training
- Greater levels of employee retention
- A more focused and productive workforce
The more comfortable retail staff are with the technology you use, the easier it will be for them to turn your investment into tangible ROI.
Fast-track your journey to the modern workspace
A staggering 96 percent of consumers say they’d stop interacting with a retailer if the service was unsatisfactory. In today’s industry, that means stepping up your digital transformation efforts to provide a more appealing customer experience.
The modern workspace thrives on flexibility, accessibility and speed – qualities you no longer get from a traditional desktop and server set-up. While a complete IT overhaul can feel like a gamble, upgrading to cloud-based services such as Microsoft Office 365 is a fantastic first step.
To learn more about deploying Office 365 in your business, check out our modern workspace page.