What is the importance of staff members in an omnichannel world?

In an omnichannel world, where consumers expect to be treated as a human individual, we detect an important role for employees. They witness the customer experience which is overlooked by technical systems.


Customer service is key


We expect that customers and employees have grown closer together in 2020. Staff members become very important in the retail industry. In 2020, customers take a central position in the strategy of an omnichannel organization. Employees are customer focused and try to act empathetic, flexible and entrepreneurial to satisfy customer’s needs. Their roles change to soft sales within the retail organization. They can also handle further digital developments in the organization. Think about how the role of a shop assistant changes when 80-90% of the sales process is already done when a customer enters the store. Can you still call yourself a sales person?




In addition to the characteristics above, an employee in 2020 must both suit the new generation and the 60+ group, which is a large group by then. It is virtually impossible to find all these qualities in one person. Employees must transform from being soloists to team players. They need to be willing to work together.


Flexible staff


Omnichannel should be supported by the entire organization and influences virtually all departments and thus employees. Implementing an omnichannel strategy causes many changes. In practice, these changes are adopted faster within the organization than the workforce is able to get used to it. However, employees in the omnichannel organization must be able to cope with changes. They need to respond quickly to changing processes, participate in the often numerous projects within the organization and attract new cooperation partners inside and outside the organization. It is important that employees keep developing their skills.


Solid core, flexible experts


The omnichannel organization functions well with a solid core of employees and flexible experts around it (T-shape versus I-shape). The in-house staff performs the pure core of (T-shape), while specific expertise from outside is attracted (I-form). This helps the organization to remain flexible and still take advantage of the right knowledge so that they can continue to meet the demands and requirements of today's customers.


Hire potential, not experience


The winners of this “omnichannel game” look for the 'best and the brightest'. The high speed of the changing context makes organizations look for people with a different 'skill set' than before. Here, the composition of the team is very important. The team must have superior substantive skills, leadership potential and the ability to cope with rapid change. In addition, it is important that there is a high degree of cultural fit.

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