Using Cloud Communication for Retail Customers

Communication with customers in retail has evolved along with shopping trends and demands. Retail store communications systems have evolved as well. Some retailers may feel uncertain about how to best balance their business needs operational needs and with customer communications preferences in this frequently changing environment. To remain relevant, retailers need to not only fight off the persistent threats from online-only retailers, but they must also keep in step with the increasingly informed customer.

To thrive in retail's ongoing digital landscape, businesses must leverage technology to augment customer experiences while arming employees to become effective communicators and information providers for the shopping public. While individual sales are still important, the endgame for today's retailers is to develop and nurture the total customer lifecycle through engagement successfully. With customer engagement, through communication and other means, brand loyalty thrives.

How to Effectively Communicate with Customers in Retail

Customers can have varying communications needs and desires when it comes to shopping. Often, today's savvy shopper wants information at their fingertips, without the necessity of getting face-to-face a sales representative or even speaking with someone on the phone. This is not an absolute, of course, as different shopper demographics and products require different approaches. For this reason, communications solutions must be of a hybrid nature, combining access to information with the availability of responsive customer support associates.

Customer self-help is important to some, but when a customer needs to speak to an agent to obtain information, answers should come quickly and with accuracy. We are in an information age where price, quality, and availability should no longer involve guesswork. Retail store communications systems can enable customer engagement and minimize lost sales to competitors by providing accurate information quickly.

Engage Customers Through Intelligent Systems

It is crucial for communications channels to be clear and user-friendly. Websites, applications, social media presence and all methods of how you present your retail business to customers needs to be smart, easy to use and informative. Customers should be able to obtain information without going through hurdles. If appropriate, some transparency in websites and other passive communications means can provide crucial information without taxing support resources. When customers need to speak with an employee, it is even more critical for them to have access to the right information about products and past customer interactions. A cloud-based retail contact center enables this high-level of interaction.

Employees Are Important Communication Tools As Well

While there are numerous technical tools for communicating with retail customers, employees are often tasked with delivering on the sales front line. Solutions such as Unified Communications and Virtual Call and Contact Centers arm salespeople with the necessary information to not only communicate with customers but to also rise above old roles as sales clerks. Today's retail employee must be more than a clerk and evolve into the role of a brand ambassador.

Brand ambassadors are essential components to the customer experience. They help shoppers build relationships and provide added value to customers. More than just a voice on the phone or a smiling face in a store, a brand ambassador is an expert. Product experts increase sales, not just for isolated transactions, but for the entire lifecycle of a customer.

Successful brand ambassadors leverage not only Unified Communications solutions, but tools such as mobile devices and tablets. Today, customers are looking for the ability to communication through email, chat, text and social platforms. Providing both the customer and employee with these functionalities helps bridge the gap between them and foster a relationship. Once employees are seen as trusted experts, business grows not only through the interactions with the customer but through referrals and other means that build upon reputation.

Building and Arming Brand Ambassador Armies

Creating brand ambassadors requires infusing employee workflows with expert information and enabling employees to freely access resources and contact within your organizations. If customers have a question that cannot be immediately answered by a brand ambassador, Unified Communications enables the employee to obtain answers quickly.

The Unified Communications solutions should empower retailers to serve customers with accurate information. Whether it is through enabling the sharing of product information among employees or providing easy to find specifications and common answers on a website or other self-help section, 8x8 provides solutions that inform customers.

Choosing the right technology is crucial to a successful retail business. Establish a streamlined retail communications strategy with 8x8, and focus on growing your business. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a quote from an 8x8 product specialist.

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