Today’s digitally-savvy shoppers want to buy from companies that not only understand their needs but are flexible in meeting them. Customers of all ages effortlessly glide between different channels and expect brands to provide consistently high levels of customer service across all of them. A recent 2019 Freshworks report collected data from customers of all demographics and ages across six countries to find out what they expect from retailers. The research was very telling:
- 67% of global consumers use three or more channels to engage with a brand
- 56% of customers have stopped doing business with a brand due to a single negative experience such as inconsistency between different channels.
Most retailers are aware of these evolving behaviours. Yet many fail to get the basics right in terms of delivering a consistent, frictionless experience. The report identified the three basic pillars of modern customer service as:
- Omni-channel convenience: ensuring the experience is simple, easy and frictionless
- Immediacy: allowing customers to have plenty of options at their fingertips with knowledgeable help/support content on hand, whenever they need it
- Personalisation: tailoring the experience for different types of customers
If these three basic pillars are what your shoppers are looking for, how can you meet their needs in the next 12 months and beyond?
Having an omni-channel presence proves to your customer that you respect their individual purchasing needs. If your brand can exceed their expectations, you’ll win their trust. 60% of Australian customers prefer brands that serve them across multiple channels. The importance of multi-channel touchpoints extends beyond customer service. You need to ensure all your offers and marketing initiatives apply across different channels. Take for example, gift vouchers / cards. Customers frequently miss the opportunity to spend their gift voucher, due to lack of flexibility on where, or how to spend it. By integrate your processes and systems you can ensure customers can purchase and redeem omni-channel gift vouchers online and in-store.
Immediate help on hand
When customers visit your physical locations, ensuring your employees can engage with them anywhere in-store and can access data about customers and product recommendations is vital. A mobile Point of Sale system plays a critical role here. When it comes to your eCommerce store, live chat is fast emerging as a preferred method of engagement and real-time help for customers globally. While email (36%) and over-the-phone voice (29%) will continue to be the two most preferred channels globally for service interactions, live chat (21%) is on the rapid increase. The Freshworks report found that Australian customers prefer to seek a solution online first: 76% of consumers prefer to first try to solve issues on their own without phone or email interaction.
Today’s consumer now expects brands to know their needs, and tailor their messaging specifically to their preferences. The Freshworks report’s findings identify that today’s customer attitude has shifted from ‘meet my needs’ to ‘anticipate my needs’ - and this can be achieved with targeted marketing and personalised email offers based off centralised, omni-channel retail CRM data. Customers are now happy to share their details and necessary data to enhance personalisation. Personalisation also extends to customer service, too. The Freshworks study found that Australian consumers found ‘having to repeat myself over and over’ as their number one frustration. By having an effective, integrated omni-channel retail CRM system that allows you to capture past touchpoints and key profile data, it’s possible to avoid these situations - fuelling your employees and automated processes with invaluable data to enable personalisation.