Tips for Business Owners on Managing An Omni-Channel, Multi-Location Operation
Hopefully since you opened your first location business has been booming. Perhaps you have now opened multiple locations, established an online presence, expanded your staff, and welcomed hundreds—if not thousands—of new customers as a result.
All this can quickly become overwhelming. But, armed with the right managerial skills, a dedicated staff, and modern technology, you’ll be able to run and scale your business with confidence. With the growing demand for online ordering and delivery, omni-channel business is something restaurateurs need to consider along with their retail counterparts.
Let’s start with the basics. You may be asking the question, “What is an omni-channel business?” An omni-channel business is the ability to deliver a seamless and consistent experience across channels while factoring in the different devices that consumers are using to interact with your business. This is vital in today’s digital world. It allows you to move past the brick-and-mortar storefront to mobile browsing, e-commerce marketplaces, social media, and onsite storefronts (pop-up shops). An omni-channel experience allows your business to be everywhere at once.
Use the following tips to better manage an omni-channel, multi-location business:
1. Check in with each of your locations.
As the business owner, it is imperative that you maintain regular check-ins with each of your business locations. Here are some factors to consider when conducting onsite visits:
- Monitor employee interactions with customers
- Confirm whether employees are recording accurate inventory
- Note how clean the location is
- Determine whether the location needs any repairs
Owners know what a successful store looks like. When possible, take the time to visit in person rather than sending an assistant or manager to do the job.
It is essential to regularly check in on every location. This does not mean that you need to be there physically; another option is to use various web-conferencing options to meet with store managers on a recurring basis. To set the right tone, start each meeting on a positive note so employees know their dedication and hard work are valued.
2. Utilize mobile-based support.
If you run a business in today’s economy and don’t offer any mobile support, you will feel the wrath of your customer base. Today’s market prioritizes companies that provide mobile accessibility. If you enable a secure contact service, such as live chat for support designed for mobile devices, this will give customers an easy, non-intrusive way to communicate with you without having to leave your homepage.
3. Host regular training sessions.
Motivate your team with regular training sessions that bring all of your locations together to discuss topics pertaining to your business. Spice things up with guest speakers and team-building activities to invite creativity and new perspectives.
Use these training sessions to answer employee questions and motivate your team to improve their work. Take advantage of your time together to show admiration for your employees with awards for top earners who have reached or exceeded their professional goals.
4. Track customer interactions across channels.
An online presence will give you insight into customer pain points and behaviors. Task your customer service associates with viewing data on clicks, swipes, scrolls, and taps to understand how your customers are engaging with your business and content. Use an email marketing tool to track email delivery opens and clicks. With this data, you can decide the best time to follow an email with a potential sales call. You should also use a customer relationship management (CRM) platform to track and update customer interactions across platforms.
Managing multiple locations is daunting, but has tremendous payoff potential Consider the tips above as you continue to grow your business and drive even higher returns.
Check out this blog post for more on the benefits of a cloud-based point of sale for growing businesses.