Women in a mask, shopping for curtains.Firstline employees are often the face of your retail business, which means that their performance can directly impact how consumers view your brand. These employees, however, can only support great customer experiences as far as their technology will let them. If your business isn’t building seamless and predictive customer service into each transaction, it can leave customers and firstline staff feeling disconnected.

By equipping your firstline staff with secure tools and devices, you empower them to focus on the customer so that they can deliver personalized customer experiences. With the right technology, you can support these high-impact workers with seamless and secure data that inspires trust in your customers.

Managing security and compliance during organizational transformation

Trust is a major part of any digital retail operation. Not only is company data flowing through connections and devices throughout an organization, but customers expect that their personally identifiable data is protected through rigorous security and compliance. Accordingly, your firstline workers need to use tools that keep that trust.

One way to ensure that these security and compliance measures are in place throughout the growth of a retail operation is to use tools with built-in security from the start. Microsoft 365 Security and Compliance, for example, supports security from endpoint Surface devices to online portals and every point in between. Your company can control access to these devices with seamless SMS or Azure account connectivity for multi-factor authentication tied to external platforms like Microsoft Teams Shift or third-party workforce management solutions.

Why is this important? Because having security tools in place at all points lets firstline retail employees focus less on managing their own security practices and focus more on collaborating with colleagues and engaging with customers.

Enabling Secure Remote Work Environments

Managing compliance through digital tools has become even more important as retail has transformed because of COVID-19. Consumers increasingly communicate with firstline workers through online channels and make purchases through online venues. Likewise, collaboration between management and workers happens more and more via online tools.

In this context, it’s important to have a mix of functionality and security. Video conferencing, chat, and online meetings can support direct communication, but firstline workers will also need secure access to shared resources so that they can continue to work no matter where they are. Likewise, they will need to engage customers in radically different contexts, including socially distanced or curbside service.

Microsoft 365 Security and Compliance ensures that the people in those meetings can execute plans together through shared resources using company devices or BYO computers. That means bridging the gap between firstline and corporate workforces to improve customer service and employee retention.

Integrate these services throughout your Firstline operation

Security and compliance only work when those secure devices are integrated seamlessly into one another. Modern tools can support automated retail processes and workflows without compromising data from front end to back.

What makes integration so important is that it allows firstline workers to take control of their own workflow, engage with customers, and communicate with each other and management all from the same space.

For example, Microsoft 365 Teams My Staff can help Firstline workers can manage security settings on their own. IT teams can connect Teams Shifts, Yammer, and SharePoint with tools like Power Apps and Power BI. These can all work within the same platform that handles things like inventory, customer data, and online catalogs.

Keeping your workforce engaged and connected

Firstline workers are essential to the success of a company, but they are often the farthest out from decision making and technological innovation. Therefore, the most important thing is to keep firstline staff and customers connected—with management, with the customer, and with each other. By putting these workers first, you empower them to build relationships with customers that feel unique, personal, and caring.

By deploying a platform that handles things like security and compliance across an integrated series of tools, you give them the power to create those relationships while maintaining the baseline security needed to ensure that those customers can trust your retail operation with their information, online and off.

If you want to learn more on the importance of supporting your frontline employees, read the e-book: How modern tools can engage and activate your frontline workforce.