Recent analysis from global consultancy firm Deloitte found consumers’ increasingly digital lifestyles are altering traditional customer service models now more than ever. As e-commerce continues to boom, retailers need to focus on maintaining their competitive advantage – providing top-notch customer service – through a seamless shopping experience.
At the crux of their strategy should be a unified approach across channels, as to not miss out on any opportunities. After all, consumers who purchase via multiple selling channels are more profitable for retailers. So how can retailers merge across channels, including digital and brick-and-mortar commerce, to boost customer service? First of all, shoppers compare their experience with you to that of other retailers.
To blend online and in store, retailers should implement new technology and train their sales associates to understand it all. Employees in your retail store should be familiar with your e-commerce platform and vice versa. Often times, your online website will be stocked with items that aren’t available at all of your store locations. This then can make your online store a destination that your customers rely on.
Similarly, directing customers online to complete the shopper experience turns in-store browsers into online buyers, which is a win-win. It is with this full-circle customer service that shoppers are likely to return to both in-store and online experiences, choosing the path to purchase that works best for them. With the omnichannel experience moving beyond just online and offline, and into the mobile space, it is important for retailers to empower their customer service teams with the necessary tools to provide live support, regardless of touchpoint.
In fact, research from Omnibus reveals that the average consumer uses 7.4 channels a day to communicate, many of which are accessible on the go. Customers are taking to social properties like Twitter, seeking live online support and expecting answers in real time. The challenge for retailers is to ensure that their customer service associates are prepared to respond virtually in the same personal way they would address shoppers in store. But with a little training and guidance, the job becomes one and the same. Customers these days are all over the place: they can start their shopping journey in store but end up online, or they can buy on mobile and pick up in store. While customers may come to each channel with different expectations, it is important to provide consistent service that feels authentic and personal. The human-need around service has not gone away; it’s just changing and now is the time to change with it – but for the better.
Retailers, what are you doing to ensure your omnichannel strategy meets shopper’s customer service needs? Tell us!