The features of Microsoft Teams that could change retailers’ views on hybrid working

Hybrid working in retail 

Retailers, like most businesses, have a growing need for effective collaboration and communication tools as the world moves towards hybrid working. 

Everyone from front-line workers to back-office staff and supply chain teams need to be able to work together seamlessly, wherever they happen to be working from, to drive profitability and enhance the customer experience.

Playing a key role for retailers 

That’s where Microsoft Teams can play a key role for you. “We already have Teams thanks” you might say at this point, but we aren’t just talking about the out of the box features. Configured correctly, this popular platform enables all the different departments in a retail business to work together seamlessly, transforming and simplifying the processes. Of course, this is even more important now many people will be working from home.

As much as we’d like to think that it is, we can’t yet be sure that the disruption caused by the pandemic is behind us; particularly with winter now approaching. Combine this realisation with the steady increase in hybrid working and Teams takes on even more importance. 

A Teams environment provides an agile space where retailers can be nimbler in the way they manage their supply chain, track shifts, and examine customer service strategies. 

Teams features that add value for retailers

For example, the platform provides a task publishing tool that helps retailers stay light on their feet when it comes to tracking the shifts of workers and managing supply chains. There are a number of other features available with Teams that are proving to be particularly useful for people working in this industry. Task Publishing is simple but effective, enabling managers to assign tasks to people working across the business and keep an eye on whether those tasks have been completed.

Another feature, Shift Management enables managers and their teams to see when they’re scheduled to be on duty and offers everything from time tracking to requests for changing shifts to be easily managed within Teams. This becomes particularly useful for organisations embracing hybrid working.

The ServiceNow platform gives your employees the chance to set up effective workflows that will enable them to provide a better service for your customers. Retailers can also use virtual agents to discover important information on products and stock levels.

The Planner feature gives workers the capability to monitor tasks simply and easily. After you’ve set up a schedule for the task, you can follow its progress to completion. The feature can even make a request for appropriate supervision for the task.

Then, there’s Push to Talk. This is like having Walkie Talkie capability on your phone and is useful for employees on the shop floor who can use it to get instant information to offer a better service for customers who have a question or to assist colleagues who might need urgent help.

This list of features is not exhaustive. What makes Teams so appealing for retailers is that Microsoft and their partners are always working on new features and solutions to help retailers become more productive and offer a better service for customers. To ensure they get it right, they engage in an ongoing dialogue with people working in retail. This enables them to keep building their knowledge so they can find out about the latest challenges, such as the increase in hybrid working, and take steps to stay ahead of the curve.

You can get in touch with a member of our retail team to find out what we could do for your organisation.

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