How retailers can become customer-centric

Call Management/ December 9, 2014/ Blog entry

Present day customers are interested in personalised experiences with customer service. They are looking for more ways to buy and more channels to contact customer support. Retailers must embrace an Omni-channel approach with regards to customer interactions.

“Omni-channel environments where customers can shop online and offline at the same retailer are increasingly ubiquitous” Wharton University Pennsylvania. The driving factor behind these customer demands is technology. Due to the way people connect with such ease these days there is an expectation that customer to business interactions should be no different.

Pay Attention to Customer Behaviour

Whether it is a call centre or an in-house team who handle customer support, an opportunity should never be passed up to learn more about your market. A BPO such as a call centre will have the technology available to take more detailed notes so you as a retailer can identify new trends. According to a survey by the American Marketing Association, 90 percent of consumers trust peer reviews and 70 percent trust online reviews so it is vital that you identify your strongest and weakest points from your customer’s perspective.

Where are your Customers Buying

Identify where and how your customers buy. Is it online through mobile devices or do they prefer to visit the store directly?  By understanding this you can make adjustments to improve online or in-store experiences. For instance live chat and email are preferred by customers during online purchases but post sale inquiries tend to be done through a phone call. These channels must be of high quality if you really want to increase repeat purchases through multiple channels. Repeat customers spend 67% more and are more profitable [source].

On average it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience, therefore you must have a team or a call centre that can achieve consistent service.

Measure Results

A retailer must recognise when an idea is flourishing or declining, and this is done by evaluating aspects such as service levels, customer satisfaction etc. over a period of time. By doing this a merchant can fund areas that are seen as growing in the future (Live chat for example) and getting rid of things that deter customers from contacting such as captcha perhaps.

Retailers must follow their customers closely, know their requirements and know what’s of most value to them when purchasing, or even better try to be proactive and recognise when you may need to outsource customer support during busy periods.