How Retail Ergonomics Can Better the Employee and Customer Experience
Increased attention to customer engagement and satisfaction can help a company grow and increase its bottom line. Providing a safe, comfortable setting for employees to work in can help accomplish both tasks. This practice — known as retail ergonomics — focuses on creating a relaxed environment for the employee in hopes of inspiring loyalty and confidence in the customer.
For employees, knowing they’re in a physically agreeable workspace puts them in the frame of mind to go out and provide the best customer service possible. After all, a relaxed, amiable employee is more likely to contribute to a pleasant overall experience for the customer.
What Retail Ergonomics Can Offer Employees
Retail ergonomics can increase employee comfort and provide workstations that allow for proper body position and posture. When there's comfort, there's more productivity, and as a result, the entire retail establishment can focus on providing customers the best possible experience.
A recent PeopleMetrics study reported that providing customers with well-rounded service from the beginning to the end of their experience cultivates repeat visitors and keeps them from patronizing competitors.
Emphasizing ergonomics can protect employees, which are a company’s most important resource. Investing in an employee’s ergonomic comfort can mean prolonged customer satisfaction.
How Store Managers Can Implement Ergonomic Programs
The biggest barrier store managers face with ergonomics is a lack of information, which doesn’t put them in a position to properly train employees. A study by the IBM Institute for Business Value reports that insufficient training, experience and equipment hinders some retailers from fully embracing ergonomics.
Once retail managers decide to invest in ergonomics, it’s important to determine exactly what employees need in a workspace. Pick your workers’ brains, and take note of posture and body position to see what works best for each individual.
After the research phase, it’s time to load up on equipment. Ergonomic fitting is all about finding the right tables, chairs, desks and whatever other workplace accessories are needed to maximize comfort and yield productive work stations.
A study by the U.S. Department of Labor noted that roughly a third of occupational injuries in 2013 were musculoskeletal related and caused by overexertion. Therefore, it’s imperative employees know how to safely use the equipment you’ve provided. When employees have a clear head and aren’t worried about their safety, they're better able to focus on serving shoppers.
When a customer has a personalized experience, loyalty is often built. Staff members who are properly trained and supported can provide the personalized experience, which offers good value to the company and its customers.
Retailers that make ergonomic investments will encounter a wealth of positives. Putting a premium on employee comfort will result in workers who are primed and ready to put their best service foot forward. And a personable and competent employee will be a welcome sight to your patrons, and if the service is to the customer’s satisfaction, everyone benefits.
Sam Bahreini is the co-founder and chief operating officer of VoloForce, a company that aims to help enterprise retail brands ensure perfect program implementation across multiple locations using automation and tools.