VoCoVo: Building a Strong Workforce with Wickes - Partner Case Study

VoCovo and Wickes - Connecting teams in 200 Wickes stores across the UK

The Big Picture

In 1972, the first UK Wickes opened in Whitefield, Manchester. It was an imaginative new concept - using a traditional DIY store model to sell to the trade - and it made Wickes the first fixed-price builders merchant in the UK. Their first customers (savvy tradesmen and keen DIYers) found they could now get all the products they needed to complete entire projects from a single store, at lower prices than other merchants. Today, Wickes operates from over 230 stores across the UK. There are currently 10,000+ products in the Wickes range from kitchens and bathrooms to paint and timber, all of which are available to buy in-store, online or by telephone.

What was Wickes' issue?

Wickes was already using headsets throughout its stores to increase store efficiency and improve customer experience. Having seen the efficiencies and increase in service quality to store customers, they wanted to fully realise the benefits that this technology could bring. However, their existing wireless headset system was not robust enough, resulting in large, frequent repair bills. It also lacked some key functionality that Wickes wanted to introduce for their staff.

Wickes stores offer a broad product range, giving their customers everything they should need for any project, the need for Wickes’ colleagues to be knowledgeable around each product is integral to the stores ability to provide exceptional customer service. Training new colleagues and building their knowledge on all the products takes time. With this in mind, Wickes approached VoCoVo, to ensure that in-store communication in Wickes stores would deliver efficienct, smooth communication that would exchange knowledge from experienced colleagues to newer members of the team.

Requirements snapshot:

  • A more robust, reliable retail communication system that staff colleagues can rely on
  • Equipment that is multi-functional, allowing staff colleagues to do different tasks
  • To drive efficiency and increase service quality to store customers
  • Cost-effective and easy to run, without losing money getting equipment fixed

So what did VoCoVo do?

Wickes chose VoCoVo wireless headsets due to their robust nature, wider store coverage and ease of use. Spare parts are easily replaceable and the handsets and charging racks are specifically designed to be hard wearing, long lasting and easy to use. Another significant advantage of these headsets is the length of time that the batteries last. The headsets last longer than the stores opening hours on a single charge. A typical installation consists of base stations to provide coverage throughout the store and yard areas, and a number of headsets creating an all informed network with two-way communications for all headset users.

The VoCoVo solution provides system data and statistics that help Wickes to monitor customer service, optimise staffing levels and identify training requirements.

In addition to the current features, Wickes is also keen to implement CallPoints in all stores during the second phase of implementation. CallPoints will be located in various areas around the store enabling customers to speak directly to a member of staff. These points are ideal for customers wanting to find out where a particular product is or asking for help in a particular aisle. Customers can have a two-way conversation with any headset user, receiving help promptly and enhancing the customer’s store experience.

Solutions snapshot:

  • Headset system to enable effective colleague communication, multi-tasking and easy in-store visibility.
  • Headsets with long-lasting battery life that staff colleagues can depend on.
  • Customer-friendly call points that allow quick interaction between customer and staff.
  • Multiple base stations enabling communication to a wider store coverage.
  • In-depth software to aid in monitoring progress levels from staff usage.

And what were the outcomes?

VoCoVo’s robust headset solution has allowed staff to work more closely together. Despite many of Wickes’ stores having a large shop floor plus storage and yard areas, all headset users are now constantly in touch with their colleagues and can hold two-way conversations.

Not only can colleagues interact more quickly but they now feel less isolated and more engaged with each other. This has had a positive impact on morale as well as their ability to deliver excellent customer service. Customers’ questions are also being answered much more quickly, significantly improving their in-store experience.

Wickes is particularly pleased with the way that the VoCoVo wireless headsets have allowed its teams to improve their service to customers. Questions can be answered much more easily and the broadcast messages mean that problems or requests can be resolved in a timely manner.

 “We are really impressed with the quality of the VoCoVo headsets. Costs have been reduced as we no longer have to replace parts so frequently.”

Paul Cannon, Head of Retail IT

Benefits snapshot:

  • Better customer service
  • Ability to answer incoming calls
  • Reduced expenditure on spare parts
  • Increased staff interaction and engagement
  • System data and statistics to ensure great customer service
Find out more about VoCoVo