In early 2008, The Co-operative ran a pilot scheme in ten of its food stores, to evaluate the Quail Digital system. The system comprised lightweight headsets for supervisors and 12-button multiple keypads for checkout staff, and the trial formed part of an initiative intended to improve the look of its larger stores, in addition to providing enhanced customer service.
The results of pilot scheme highlighted a number of benefits including:
• The ability to resolve customer queries faster
• Easy and immediate access to key supervisory staff
• Efficient use of time
• Improved security due to – faster response times – visual impact of headsets, signifying swift communication between staff
• Ease of communication between supervisors
In September 2008, as a result of the successful trial, the Quail Digital system was rolled out in 121 of The Co-operative’s major stores across the UK. Stores were selected by number of checkouts, annual sales and physical size. The installation was fully completed by December 1st 2008.
“We selected those stores where we felt the Quail Digital system would provide the biggest benefit and the results have been impressive,” said John Hardman, The Co-operative’s Retail Stores Project Officer. “78% of staff feel security has been improved, which of course gives them peace of mind too, and 85% cited improved customer service as the main benefit.”
The Quail Digital system has integrated data capture technology which allows the stores to analyse keypad usage.
Analysis of the first year’s operation has identified significant time savings, the biggest use of the system being supervisor authorisations from the till. Age-related sales queries represented 25% of usage, supervisor authority 36% and customer queries accounted for 25%. Additional uses include queries around home delivery, basket and trolleys, change, faulty equipment and queue assistance.
Quail Digital uses DECT technology on the 1.88 & 1.92 GHz band. “We find the DECT technology works very well and provides good coverage,” continued Hardman. “Having instant access to and between supervisors is a real bonus too.”
The Quail Digital installation team set up the system in each store in one day and provided training for the in-store teams in how to use it.
The team trained The Co-operative’s own in-house support team who now deal with day to day queries, with Quail Digital on hand to provide further technical support.
John Hardman said: “From our point of view the installation and ongoing performance of the Quail Digital system has worked very well. There was a one visit installation including all the training, minimising down time and disruption in the store and we’ve had good after sales support.”
Quail Digital launched its new QD Retail headset in January, the first model in the retail sector to have done away with the belt pack making for an even smaller, more comfortable product for the wearer. New features include VOX, talk lock and PTT.