3 Ways Retailers Can Improve Customer Experience With Their Contact Center
No one ever said working in retail was easy. There are long hours, narrow margins, heavy competition and the threat of loss at every turn. You spend most of the year in the red, hoping for a big holiday season, and sometimes it doesn’t happen. Succeeding in retail is tough and these days it’s much more difficult.
Online retailers — of which Amazon is the most notable, but hardly the only — have completely changed the market landscape and put yet another pressure on this difficult market. For some this was the last straw. As retailers close brick-and-mortar stores across the country, those still in the market need strategies to help them compete in today’s economy along with solutions for leveraging their inherent advantages against the challenges they face.
Customer service remains the key difference of brick-and-mortar retail operations. While most think of this as a friendly face at the checkout or a helpful suggestion in the aisle, customer service extends into every facet of your business, including customer interactions with your contact center. It’s these latter exchanges we’re going to focus on, because while the customer service interactions that take place here are every bit as important as those that occur in-store, these conversations also provide some pretty helpful data. Below are three ways you can use your contact center to your competitive advantage.
* Setting the right priorities. Your contact center is commonly called customer service, but think of it as one big focus group. Customers don’t call to say hi. They call because they have a question, a frustration or a need they want satisfied. This is all valuable information. What questions, needs and frustrations are your agents hearing most often? Which problems can you solve immediately? Use the information you gain here to set your priorities. Remember, for every person who calls, there are dozens more with the same problem who don’t call. Fix the situation and you’ll make them all happy.
* Understand buyer habits. When customers reach out to your contact center, they will invariably describe how they came about the predicament that preceded the call. This information provides worthwhile insight into buyer behavior. Which store did they visit, what was their experience, and what challenges did they face? Every piece of information that comes in this call is valuable. Solve the problem and keep the rest.
* What didn’t they buy and why? Contact center interactions generally fall into two buckets: complaints and questions. Both are intriguing for their own reasons. When it comes to questions, there is beneficial data locked in each one. Learn as much as you can about the entire customer experience and use this information to change how the products are packaged and displayed or how sales staff interact with customers. It’s all valuable information that can help you improve your person-to-person experiences and support your key advantage in today’s retail market.
The call center is no longer a cost center for retailers. The information and data that can be pulled from customer interactions is invaluable and should be leveraged to help create a cohesive experience across all interaction points.