Idle Time is Killing Your Business: Here's What to Do About It

Patrick Antinozzi

idle time killing your business

One of the biggest threats to your business also happens to be one of the most overlooked.

That deadly window of time where no customers are browsing your store.

Managers try to find work to keep their reps busy, reps play on their phones, and customers are nowhere to be found.

Many retailers accept this as a simple cost of doing business that is outside of their control. After all, you can't expect to always have a full store, right? There's bound to be some downtime.

And it doesn't get any easier when we take a look at the persona of your customers in 2016.

The habits of the modern day consumer

It's hard to get humans to come back to your store, mainly because they're human:

  • They need constant reminders (ex: wedding anniversary!)
  • They have less attention span than a goldfish (go Google it)
  • They are used to things being curated for them (ex: Netflix, Spotify or Apple tell them what to watch/listen to)
  • They have less attention span than a goldfish (8 seconds vs 9 seconds)

idle time retail

You're so distracted that you probably didn't even notice we mentioned that goldfish illustration twice.

On top of all of this, there are lots of shiny ads and signs telling them to buy the next gadget from another store. So you can’t blame them.

Once you finally manage to attract them to your store, their purchase experience shouldn't end when they walk out the door.

You want to keep them coming back, and that's where your idle time comes in.

Activate your idle time

idle time retail

The key to activating your idle time is empowering your team of reps with the tools they need to build lasting relationships with their customers. 

At the core of these tools is valuable data that you already have, but just needs to be unlocked, translated, and organized into actionable information.

Now, instead of wasting time on menial tasks just to keep busy, your reps will be engaging with your customers through their preferred channels, be that via messaging, social media, or the traditional phone call.

Your team will know exactly where they stand with their customers, who they need to contact and, most importantly, why.

But don't take my word for it...

Retailers are redefining idle time

idle time retail

Over 100 wireless dealers are using their staff’s idle time to engage with past customers in a really authentic way – allowing them to be more memorable and personal than the carrier or even Amazon.

And people are getting out of their chairs – to buy from their local store – all because someone listened, said hello and stayed top of mind.

Here are just a few, recent stories from Statflo customers:

  • A rep started using Statflo during their idle time and on their first day had 4 customers to contact. 4 in-store meetings were booked, resulting in 3 upgrades and 1 activation. (that's a 100% success rate, for those counting)
  • A rep called a customer, Paul, and he booked a meeting with his wife and son to come in 2 days later to add a line for the son and Paul’s two employees.
  • A dealer with 10 stores got 16 upgrades and 38 meetings booked within 2 weeks of starting to use Statflo as a sales engine during idle time.
  • On the first day of using Statflo, a rep was able to book 5 meetings with previous customers. 4 of them came into the store and 3 deals were closed.
  • A store manager reached out to a customer to ask about their trip to Alaska. The customer mentioned he was at the airport coming back and that his wife dropped her phone. He made an appointment to come in and replace it that week.

Stories like this are what we live for

Our Smart CRM for wireless retailers automatically assigns actions for reps to take during idle time to:

  • Increase store traffic and overall sales
  • Build strong relationships with previous customers
  • Grow small business sales
  • Improve their job satisfaction and stay engaged

When you empower reps to be themselves and be authentic, customers respond by giving them their time. 

Yes, some may not come in as a result of a touch-point but, overwhelmingly, a simple nudge can result in someone getting into a vehicle and driving to a particular store (and hopefully your store).

Stop looking at idle time the old-fashioned way.

Activate your team, engage your customers, build relationships, boost sales, and keep your customers coming back for life.

About the Author

Patrick Antinozzi

Patrick is our Content Specialist / Brand Ambassador / Internet Geek. He's got his finger on the pulse of business and retail trends, and loves writing in various corners of the internet. When he's not doing that, you'll find him traveling the world, playing hockey, or ranting about the Montreal Canadiens.

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