How to Keep Associates Up-to-Date with AI
Most retailers have now fully reopened their stores to shoppers, ending the initial wave of shutdowns for non-essential retailers and rolling back occupancy caps and similar restrictions. However, as we move into winter, cases are on the rise again and many areas are ramping restrictions back up. Early on, intermittent closing and regional spikes caused operational challenges and communication roadblocks, as retailers struggled to update store managers and associates about rapidly changing circumstances.
Between closures, callouts, and changing priorities, it can seem almost impossible to ensure that the right associates receive the right information about their work and their store in a timely fashion. As retailers ramp up for the second wave, there’s an opportunity to solve this challenge.
Upgrading Your Communication Strategy with AI
Retail is unpredictable right now and could change quickly for better or for worse. Traditional tools for retail forecasting, planning, and execution are often too slow to fully enable agile operations given the level of uncertainty. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help bridge this gap and minimize disruption for the frontline.
Overwhelming frontline employees with constant updates is ultimately counterproductive. When it comes to communication, less is more. Intelligently targeting communications to only those store associates who really need them can be key to success—for example, sending updates about store closures or new safety procedures only to impacted employees. An AI-powered system can help create a feedback loop, automatically aggregating the messages or topics that generate the most questions from the field; this enables you to send clarifications or updates only where most needed, driving both efficiency and employee engagement.
AI can also improve the relevancy and timeliness of updates, using prescriptive analytics to create real-time visibility into the most important issues at the store. For example, if a store is operating outside of posted hours, it may be a warning sign of a training gap, payroll fraud, or theft. AI-powered prescriptive analytics solution can identify this pattern and trigger an alert to the store or district manager to investigate and ensure compliance moving forward.
Improving Access with AIDA
Reflexis has made AI-enabled communication even easier with AIDA—an Artificial Intelligence Digital Assistant. AIDA is an intuitive, self-learning chatbot that enables associates to quickly find answers to all their questions.
AIDA empowers associates to access and understand their schedule, even through rapid changes, providing answers to questions including:
- What’s my schedule this week?
- Are there any open shifts I can pick up?
- What’s my Time Off balance?
Associates are also able to find and prioritize key activities with the help of AIDA to ask:
- What tasks are due this week?
- Do I have unread messages?
- What’s next on my To-Do list?
In a period of change and disruption, AI can help keep frontline associates where they need to be and on task, improving store execution and minimizing the negative impact of disruption on the customer or employee experience.
To learn how Reflexis can help bring AI to your store operations, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org today!