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1 Mar 2024

Good CX cannot exist without good staffing

The recent Centre for Retail Research figures showed that around 120,000 retail jobs were lost last year. While some job losses could not be avoided as behemoths of the UK’s high street collapsed, other retailers are reducing staff numbers to cut overhead costs and align with reduced footfall. But what does this mean for customer experience? And how could that impact retailers’ ambitions?

The truth is that cutting staff overheads requires a careful balance to maintain good experience for the customer, whatever sector(s) you’re working in. If you have too many staff members, then revenue will struggle to cover operational costs, which is devastating in a sector with increasingly tight margins. At the same time, with too few staff you will struggle to deliver against expectations, in terms of customer experience, sales volumes or both.

There are issues for companies either way, but having too few staff could be catastrophic for businesses that are already precariously close to the edge. From managing staff morale and turnover, to making big-ticket sales and generating loyalty, there’s a lot to consider. Furthermore, the human interaction that physical retail offers is one its principal USPs over the online shopping experience.

Burnout and lose out

In a global survey by McKinsey, an average of one in four employees were experiencing signs of burnout, resulting in cynicism, exhaustion, and emotional distance. Understaffing, resulting in overwork and poor working conditions, can often be a significant factor in burnout, often affecting multiple team members who are left to pick up the slack.

Not only can undervalued and demotivated staff have the obvious impact on customer service, long-term understaffing is likely to lead to higher turnover, and the resulting loss of knowledge and skills that can help drive sales and deliver a more engaging customer experience. It is not just the experience (and its impact on sales) to consider though.

To read the published article written by Dan Todaro, Managing Director please visit CXM

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