As sales shift online, store labor hours are being cut. But less customer service won't help sales -- in stores OR online.
With fewer people working, it's hard to have full coverage on the sales floor. But it's easier to have someone - human or, eventually, chatbots - centralized behind the scenes to answer customer FAQs.
Retailers, especially those with larger stores, should post a sign encouraging customers to text with questions/issues like:
- Do you have this [photo] in another size or color? If not, can you send it to me from another store or online?
- Where can I find X item or brand in this store?
- Can you send a tailor or product specialist to me in X department?
- What time do you close tonight?
- The service I just got was amazing/terrible.
- Cleanup needed in aisle/bathroom X.
Addressing all of this via text would be infinitely better than hoping customers have the patience to find increasingly elusive store staff.