Great retail customer service is about making the customer happy and going the extra mile. Your customers have many choices when it comes to where they spend their money. And as competition heats up, the economy changes, and shopping habits become more complex, it’s crucial to provide an experience that is flexible enough for every customer.
Don’t make customers wait – ever
One of the worst things you can do to a customer is make them wait. It’s better to be prompt and ready, especially when it comes to customer service. You might think that customers don’t mind waiting if they know it’s for a short while or temporary. But if waiting takes 10 minutes to check the back of the store for their size or your website goes dark, they may move on, purchasing something similar from Amazon.
Make communication a two-way street
Communication is a two-way street, so make sure you’re listening as your customer service department normally does. But don’t forget you can speak up as well by using text, calls, or social media to proactively get in touch with your customers. For example, if you inform them of your holiday hours before they ask, customers are better informed, and you’ve answered a question they might not have asked.
Automated voice interactions and smart chatbots can help reach out as well as relieve employees – or part of the whole customer service department – from the burden of explaining directions for routine actions like buying online and picking up in store. Scaling this feature, you can answer the most repetitive customer questions with an AI to help reduce the strain on call centers.
Personalize the shopping experience
To get consumers to return and make repeat purchases, it’s imperative that your company provides personalized service. A good way to do this is by connecting your customer relationship management (CRM) system to an omnichannel communication automation suite. This unification is twofold. It allows you to:
- Gather and track customer data
- Tailor email, text, and other notifications to customers’ preferences
You can use an individual’s historical information to provide stand-out customer service over the phone, online, or in person. For example, if a customer calls for assistance with an order, your unified omnichannel communication suite, CRM, and call center already know what items the customer has ordered so they can provide accurate information about shipping times and other details.
Don’t forget to check in after the sale
Customer service doesn’t end with the sale. After a customer has made a purchase, it’s still important to follow up and make sure everything is going well. If they haven’t engaged in a while, automate an email or text message with an omnichannel communication tool asking how they like their product or if there are any questions they have. If a customer responds with a question, answer it quickly to delight them with your customer service.
It’s also smart to ask for feedback from the customer about the quality of your service. A CRM-connected omnichannel communication platform can help automate this process with phone or text surveys. Customer responses can be recorded in your CRM and even labelled with a positive or negative sentiment. You can use this first-party data in the future to help make customer-centric changes and decisions. And by recording and using this information, you’ll be able to measure and compare how much customer service has improved over time.
Recommend products or services based on what’s most relevant to each customer
You can automatically personalize product recommendations by using CRM data to target customers and an omnichannel communication tool to send those recommendations. Plus, you can communicate through each customers’ preferred channel – text, email, voice, or social media. With relevant and frequent recommendations, it’s likely that each customer will make another purchase.
Great retail customer service is great customer satisfaction
It’s easy to think that great retail customer service is about making sure your customers are happy. However, this isn’t 100% true. It may be more accurate to say that great retail customer service is about making sure your customers are satisfied with their shopping experience.
While there may be some overlap between these two goals, it’s important to understand that satisfaction is not the same as happiness (which can be fleeting and short-lived). A satisfied customer will continue to come back for more business because they know your company will take care of their unique needs each time.
Every business wants to provide the best customer service. After all, you believe in your company and your product. Businesses want to make sure customers are happy and content with their experience. But great customer service takes time, practice, and refinement. To help find out how much an omnichannel communication platform could help you, download this report on “Deriving Top Value from CPaaS.”