The path to the customer is continuously changing and evolving. Customer service experts have come to realize the holistic roadmap to the customer through creative touchpoints and previously ignored interactions. These realizations have permeated through more than just one niche or target audience and are now part of the customer experience.
We've covered the customer experience pretty intensively before, but here are the basics. The customer experience is essentially every interaction a potential or current customer has with your business. These interactions could be before, during, or after a purchase. So, what does that mean for retailers? How can large or even small-scale retail stores benefit from revitalizing their customer experience strategy? Well, we're going to answer those questions right here.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of revamping customer experience strategy for retailers is the amount you can learn about your customers. Part of a contact center or customer service team's job is to collect data. This process is a cornerstone of successful businesses, as these analytics can guide essential marketing objectives and give powerful insights about buying habits.
The customer isn't necessarily more complex nowadays, but the ways we can evaluate them are. We have access to more information now than ever before. From learning about how they found out about a product and satisfaction reviews to far more detailed information like how long a customer spent on a landing page — we're able to learn a ton of information about their experience.
We're also able to collect detailed demographic information and match that data with spending habits to create buyer personas. These personas can enhance your customer experience by customizing your approach to different audiences. These are especially helpful for eCommerce retailers that operate almost entirely through digital mediums. It's also a great way to create loyal advocates through an exceptional experience.
The customer experience involves a lot of moving parts, many of which are automated or digital. Automation isn't something that should scare anyone away. Rather, this is a tool that businesses and contact centers can use to their advantage when learning about and helping their customers. Contact centers are actually a great opportunity for up-selling and cross-selling products.
Existing customers are a great way to grab some additional profits. They're low hanging fruit that many retailers don't reach for enough. These are an ideal audience because you know that they already bought into your product. However, contact center agents need the training to get this process just right. They'll need to be able to identify a customer's problems and locate one of your business's products as the ideal solution. It's a creative process, but one that will help you reap some incredible profits. Using your contact center to sell should be mandatory.
If there's one workforce that struggles with retention issues, it's contact centers. Attrition has plagued this industry due to its thankless and often stressful nature. The truth is that it's become a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The door is always revolving, and companies have become complacent with that fact. It's far more efficient, cost-effective, and beneficial for the customer experience to hire the right staff and train them properly with long term goals in mind.
Creating a positive company culture through incentives and proper education helps your agents feel empowered and appreciated. All of this effort translates into happier staff and therefore, happier customers.
Instilling the right training and skillsets into your contact center workforce is crucial. Your agents should have skills like these.
Hiring right the first time will help mitigate a lot of potential pitfalls down the road. However, you'll still need to invest in continuing education and training initiatives to keep your agents on top of the latest customer experience needs.
Another way retailers can benefit from revamping their customer experience strategy is by meeting customers on their terms. One of the best ways to do this now is by having an active presence, and a timely response team set up for social media. Customers feel comfortable and at home on their social media channels. It's where they go to converse with friends or complain about issues they may have. Many companies have found their voice on social media like Wendy's. But it's not all about brand awareness or quirky comebacks.
Customers are quick to voice their complaints on social media platforms about their experiences with a product. These grievances are a perfect opportunity for solutions in a public setting. However, ignoring customer inquiries and complaints can spell disaster for a company's satisfaction rates. To be quite honest, being active on social media isn't even going above and beyond; it's the norm. So, if one thing is for certain — you can protect your brand and be engaged with your audience through an active social media presence.
Contact centers in the retail space have some of the most rollercoaster-like peaks and lulls. Some seasons are slow, while others are incredibly busy. Seasonal sales, holidays, and new product releases all contribute to the inconsistent, yet predictable momentums that retailers face. Sometimes the busy seasons end up becoming a nightmare, as staffing gets more and more difficult, and agents aren't properly trained. These issues are just a part of what makes managing a contact center so difficult.
While this practice doesn't necessarily translate into a better customer experience directly, it does have its purpose. A better process and understanding of scheduling practices and workflow can help create a more efficient retail contact center and therefore, a better customer experience. The right data regarding call patterns and forecasting can help give you the right insights to make the right decisions.
It shouldn't come as a surprise how important mobile support is. Nearly every consumer strolls around their day with a smartphone glued to their palm. Simple features like click to call, SMS integration, and call back software can make a world of difference. We talked about meeting the customer where they are during the social media section, but mobile is even more important. 58% of site visits were from mobile devices in 2018. That's a staggering number. If your support isn't mobile compatible or even mobile-forward, you're risking some serious damage in the satisfaction department.
What else is there to say. Retail spaces need better contact center practices, processes, and solutions to improve their customer experience. It's as simple as that. It's not rocket science or anything innovative. The customer experience is the new customer service. It encompasses more, it's about the journey, and it's more personalized than ever before. Today's customers have more to choose from, and they also have access to information and reviews about nearly every company. To stand out from the rest, you have to take it back to the basics.
You need to take it back to the human interactions that your customers have with your marketing, your company, and your product.
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