Mothercare Implements Headset Communications System

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Mothercare is deploying a lightweight headset communication system in some of its UK stores as part of a profitability push by the mother and baby goods retailer. The Quail Digital retail communication system was specified and supplied by on-site communications and retail software provider, Call Systems Technology (CST).

“Mothercare didn’t want to make extensive infrastructure changes and specified that the systems should not require substantial IT support”, commented Dave Barrett, CST’s retail development manager. CST demonstrated how combining the Quail Digital Headset and Call Button systems improve productivity and customer service.

“Undoubtedly it makes the whole in-store customer service experience much more professional and productive”, noted Ben Voce, store manager at the Mothercare shop in Westfields, Stratford. “It increases the amount of time our assistants can spend with customers.”

Ben Voce continued: “The system probably saves 20 -30 trips a day to and from stockrooms, which works out, on average, as a couple of hours per large store per day, so the savings soon mount up. Significantly reducing unnecessary trips maximises shop floor presence, improves customer service and enhances upsell and cross-sell opportunities.”

Previously the stores used desk phones and loudspeaker announcements to communicate with staff and request assistance or information, leaving customers waiting. However, the phone and speaker system would not always guarantee contact and loud PA announcements were annoying to customers and staff.
The Quail Digital system allows discreet, instant, two way communication. The headsets facilitate hands-free team communications so staff can remain engaged with their customers whilst attending to their queries.

The system has been installed in Mothercare’s Peterborough, Warrington, Stoke, Bristol and Stratford stores, with more to follow. It comprises cash desk call points and customer call buttons in key areas of the store (for example, home & travel and car seats) enabling customers to request help when they wish. At some stores, the system is also being used in car parks, improving the security of staff working in the car-seat fitting bays, enhancing customer service.

In addition to improved efficiency and customer service, the system also proved a valuable theft deterrent.

“We were very pleased when the new system helped prevent a £1200 theft from one of our stores!” said Mark Birnie, store process manager for Mothercare.

“Being able to communicate instantly when a danger or a threat presents is a major improvement over our previous systems.”

“Seamless, instant communication between staff on the sales floor and cash tills not only helps to combat theft but can play a significant role in providing staff with reassurance and protection,” said Tom Downes, CEO, Quail Digital, “In addition the headsets provide a visible deterrent to would-be thieves.”

The system also facilitates stock replenishment as warehouse staff can communicate instantly with those checking stock on the floor. This prevents ‘double handling’, reducing damage and increasing productivity.