Retail, both in-store and online, usually focuses on showcasing their products. But this strategy alone does not lead to more sales, higher customer satisfaction or improved experience (CX). We’ve seen time and time again that human connections – meaningful exchanges and experiences between retailers and customers – are the true drivers of loyalty.
Recent data suggests that customers also have high expectations of retailers. According to PwC research, the most important factors to customers, and those they would be willing to pay extra for, are efficiency, convenience, knowledgeable service and friendly service.
It’s one thing for companies to note technology and customer experience when problems arise or the process is interrupted, but SMBs would do well to always prioritize them. Learn more about the types of technologies that can improve customer experiences and make customers happier, and how you can turn that information into actionable strategies.
efficiency and comfort
Efficiency is easily overlooked because when processes are effective and employees make the best use of their time, it can appear as if the organization is operating at a standard level. Under the hood, however, an efficient company doesn’t just start humming; It’s powered by technology that minimizes friction, maximizes speed and enhances the human element that every customer craves.
The system standardization makes a significant contribution to increasing efficiency. Unification is when all parts of an organization’s technology suite — from CRM to POS and every acronym in between — are deeply integrated enough to allow powerful AI/ML services to function across the system. These services, which include customer sentiment analysis, canned contextual responses, anomaly detection, and chatbots to name a few, all conspire to save agents time on manual tasks that hamper personalized customer engagement. On the customer side, tools like chatbots or auto-triggered responses offer instant support, even on mobile, which can be a key differentiator for retailers looking to improve accessibility and convenience.
Seamlessly unifying the customer experience also enables retailers to passively ingest, share and store all relevant customer information to enhance future interactions. When these disparate tools are properly integrated, a unified customer service system arms service agents with instant access to past customer interactions, product use case details, new product inquiries, and preferred frequency and type of engagement. Technology provides retailers with the right context to personalize customer experiences, whether in-store or online.
Without the right context, businesses run the risk of frustrating or re-offending their customers, either by repeating or passing on useless information, trying to sell a customer for a product they don’t need or already have, or referring a customer to that multiple wrong agent. These common and seemingly innocuous occurrences all erode the trust a customer has in a brand or vendor.
Data analysis is just as important for customer service as it is for sales or marketing. However, data collection alone will not improve the customer experience. Even a fully integrated, automated, and contextual CX system requires management and improvement based on ever-changing market conditions. However, before a human can take appropriate action, they must first work with clean, consistent, and comprehensive data drawn from multiple departments and customer-facing interactions. Again, this is only possible if the technology is coordinated and standardized.
Once a company pulls in the right information, data analytics solutions can take over, create custom reports, consolidate survey and feedback data, and provide invaluable insights into team and campaign performance. With powerful and comprehensive customer service solutions such as Zoho deskSMBs can customize and schedule reports that detail both the success and stagnation of all customer experience efforts.
Where the rubber meets the road
A successful customer experience is a matter of marrying powerful technology with meaningful human engagement. All data points in the world amount to zero unless organizations can effectively use insights to improve service. But unless service agents are freed from mundane tasks and provided with actionable information, they won’t be able to engage with customers efficiently and thoughtfully. This is especially true for smaller organizations that lack the time, staff, or resources to maintain a consistently high customer experience. Businesses of all sizes will achieve the best results in customer experience with a solution that is advanced enough to deliver rich insights and context, while being intuitive and easy to use so that it will be adopted across the enterprise.
More in: Customer Satisfaction, Zoho Corporation