Office needs to work on its multichannel proposition

Most retailers know that moving towards a multichannel proposition is a must: many are already working on offering a fully integrated customer service online and offline. 
At the same time, many don’t seem to get it and that attitude just trickles down to the shop floor. Last weekend, I was looking to buy two pairs of shoes at retail chain Office. I chose three different styles and asked the shop assistant to check if they were available in my size. 
After a long ten-minute wait, she returned, saying that none of the styles were available on size four. So I chose two other styles and asked her to check. Another five minutes later, I had the same result: no size fours left. 
I asked the sales assistant when she was likely to get a new batch of the shoes I liked the most. She couldn’t really say: it could be early next week, but she had been experiencing delays in stock deliveries for some types of summer styles. 
After I left the shop, I started to think there could be a series of technology-related issues going on at Office, all of which could impact customer service negatively.
The mention that deliveries were taking a long time suggests there may be problems around demand forecasting and perhaps in other areas of supply chain and logistics. If five different styles were out of stock on size four, it must mean there is demand –  so why were they not available when I was ready to buy them, or even in the foreseeable future?
The member of staff never offered to check shoe availability at a store nearby, or even order the shoes on the size I needed for collection in store at a later date. I was not encouraged to check the website either – the firm has a shoe finder online, which enables customers to find sizes unavailable in store. 
Office has a reasonably effective web presence, but the link with the physical stores does seem to be there. And more importantly, staff members don’t seem to understand that the web can help them provide a better customer service – and they are all pretty young at the branch in question, so you’d expect they would have a better appreciation of the role of e-commerce or that their employer would have trained them appropriately. 
I was prepared to buy two pairs of shoes, but after this experience, I left empty-handed. Presumably, a private equity-owned business should be investing on technology to boost sales, but as far as multichannel goes, it doesn’t seem to be working at Office. 

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