Potomac River Running is a specialty running store with 9 locations across Virginia.
For Potomac River Running, outfitting runners for shoes is a highly personal experience. Customers need 1-1 attention to find the right pair of shoes.
But retail staff also have to balance helping in-store customers with answering the phone. The team does its best to answer every call, but when calls and foot traffic spike during the running season, staff struggle to keep up with calls and voicemail.
As a result, the stores were missing 25% of incoming calls.
“With Numa, every customer gets an accurate response. Nothing slips through the cracks.”
With the rise of unsolicited spam phone calls, owner Ray Pugsley didn’t want legitimate callers getting lost in a backlog of voicemail, so he disabled the answering machine feature for his 9 stores.
This approach left store managers with no insight into the callers who couldn’t get through. These callers also endured a frustrating experience: a busy signal or endlessly ringing line.
Team members also call between locations daily with inventory questions and struggle to get through during busy times, leaving customers waiting for an answer.
To maintain a high-touch customer experience, Potomac River Running stores needed a phone solution that would free staff to serve customers while offering callers immediate help.
With Numa’s AI-enhanced answering service, team members have flexible phone support to respond to every customer. When staff can’t answer the phone, Numa greets callers and directs them to text the store or leave a voicemail. Once callers opt in to text, Numa automatically responds and answers questions about store hours, event information and more.
Now, when foot traffic picks up, retail staff can choose whether to pick up the phone or let Numa answer.
“Some percentage of staff will always respond the wrong way, and Numa helps us improve."
Numa’s text message and voicemail alerts have also provided managers with real-time insight into customer conversations. From the Numa app, they can quickly review texts and voice messages and respond when needed.
Customers also have a new medium to engage with the store and be sure they get through. Staff can now prioritize in-store visitors and provide an exceptional customer experience.
With Numa working behind the scenes, Potomac River Running can now answer 100% of incoming calls and confidently know they’ve responded to every potential customer.
“With Numa, every customer gets an accurate response,” Ray said. “Nothing slips through the cracks.”
For multi-retailers, overseeing communication across stores is challenging. Previously, Ray only had visibility into customer conversations when he was physically in a store. Because the retail store had no voicemail option, customer messages also weren’t getting through.
Now, Numa lets callers leave a voicemail or immediately connect through text messaging. From the Numa app, Ray and his managers can instantly view voice and text conversations across all 9 locations and chime in from anywhere.
Staff can also communicate across stores via text to give in-store customers quick answers.
More consumers today prefer to text, Ray said. The ability to incorporate texting in the customer communication process gives customers more options to engage with the store.
Ray wants his stores to be as responsive as possible. By setting up Numa, his team can assist callers before, during and after store hours.
Ray found that most callers asked questions about the store’s location, parking information and event details, which didn’t require a human to answer.
During events, store managers can update Numa with answers to location information and other deadlines. Numa automatically responds to these text messages, reducing the burden on his in-store staff.
A single interaction with a business can make or break the sale. With Numa, Ray can monitor his staff’s text conversations with customers and offer suggestions to create a consistent experience.
“Some percentage of staff will always respond the wrong way, and Numa helps us improve,” Ray said. “Numa works flawlessly compared to other initiatives we’ve implemented.”