The retail sector is highly competitive and a bad customer experience could be devastating to your business. Online shopping and the growth of an ‘instant world’ means customers now expect an immediate solution, or they’ll simply move on to the next retailer.
A study from American Express found that 95 per cent of retail consumers talk about poor customer service experiences with other people, likely putting them off of ever shopping with that company. On the flip side, happy customers who get their issues resolved tell about 4-6 people about their experience, according to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, meaning good customer service results in the likelihood of more customers.
Happier shoppers will help build brand loyalty, but poor customer service experiences will lead to lost customers.
Around 59 per cent of the customers said a bad experience caused them to stop buying products from a company, but that can be easily turned around with good customer service. In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, increasing customer retention rates by just 5 per cent could increase profits from 25 per cent to 95 per cent.
Retailers still have a lot of work to do when it comes to customer service, especially in a digitally-driven world. The same Forbes study found that 80 per cent of retailers believe they provide excellent customer service, but only 8 per cent of customers agreed.
Outsourcing your customer service to a contact centre will give your retail business access to expert representatives, as well as innovative and on-the-pulse technologies in self-service automation - transforming your customer experience.
Advantage Communications has listed three ways a retailer can benefit from outsourcing their customer service program to a contact center:
1 - Real-Time Data
No longer are consumers prepared to wait on hold for 20 minutes, while customer service representatives find the right person to answer their query. They want solutions there and then, and the longer they wait the less likely they are to buy from your business again.
Some contact centres are now making use of real-time data reporting technologies to boost the customer experience. Real-time data and trend reporting gives contact centres invaluable insight into a customer’s reactions to product changes, as well as compiling relevant data about consumer behaviour which can be used to optimize their experience.
All of this allows your outsourced contact centre to anticipate your customer’s needs before they even need it. Customer service representatives can tap into this real-time data to provide solutions for a customer’s problems in a fast and efficient manner, with little customer effort. Advantage Communications uses our own patented CRM applications, utilizing real-time data and reporting.
2 - Highly-trained agents
When outsourcing your customer service to a contact centre, you should make sure representatives are highly trained and 100 per cent focused on the growth of your brand. Customer service representatives at Advantage Communications, for example, are hired and trained to be true ambassadors of your brand.
Through comprehensive training and knowledge transfer, as well as coaching on your brand culture, our agents are able to give your customers the same fantastic service that your sales representatives are providing in your physical retail stores.
3 - Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is touted to be the biggest disruptor in the technology industry over the next decade, and it’s already making some serious waves in the customer service space. AI can help improve the customer experience, reduce customer effort and cut out the potential chance of human error.
Conversational AI technology - such as chatbots or natural automated phone conversations - is not only lowering customer effort by being available on multiple devices in different formats, but it also frees up customer service representatives from routine support requests so they can focus on more complex tasks.
Most importantly, if implemented correctly, AI substantially decreases wait time for your retail customers by either offering automated solutions or finding out enough information that can connect customers with the correct live agent. This means bad customer experiences will be significantly reduced.
Customers are the driving factor in the success of a retail business, and expert customer service is the key to retaining customers and promoting brand loyalty. By outsourcing your customer service will not only you save money on hiring full-time employees and licensing expensive technologies, you will also have access to experts who are specialized in keeping retail customers happy.
Find out how Advantage Communications can improve your customer service strategy, and contact us today!