Retail Call Center Services Encourage Customer Engagement
If you've paid attention to the state of retail over the past decade or so, it's clear that the standard single channel means of communication from years past are no longer effective. Retail customers are less likely to call a store with routine queries, opting instead to seek information online through content and social media. This is not to say that phone calls in retail are a thing of the past, however, as voice conversations continue to serve a critical role in the customer experiences.
The evolution of retail communication presents some challenges, but it also creates opportunities for cost savings, automation, and increased customer engagement. Retail call center services, such as those available through unified communications, virtual call centers, and various communication channels can help retailers seize these opportunities.
Modern Retail Call Center Needs
While the integration of communications results in streamlined communications with existing and potential customers, there is also a trend in retail to scale down communications. Some retailers believe reducing call center volume is the key to capturing the attention of customers who want less noise, and more readily available information. This approach can reduce costs, but it is ever-important for these cost-cutting mechanisms to avoid customer alienation.
Today, focusing on the customer experience is all the rage, and for good reason. Customers are more likely to frequent brands and outlets that are responsive to their needs. While many people prefer to get immediate answers without having to pick up a phone, this is not the case with all customers. One of the timeless rules of retail and customer service is to understand your customers' needs. If your product or service is augmented through the availability of live customer service representatives, then you will be doing your customers and your business a disservice by scaling back your phone staff.
Challenges in Retail Communications
In addition to knowing your customers' needs, moving from a customer service model — which is focused on individual transactions such as a complaint — to a customer experience model is a crucial component of modern retail. Customers today want to use multiple channels of communication when convenient, while also being able to find answers without having to do all of the work — for example, simple web browsing on a retailer's site. A customer may want additional information on a product, and an integrated customer service chat is one way to address this customer's question immediately. A phone call or email may take too much time to return a response, and in that time, the customer has too many opportunities to navigate away to a competitor's product.
While integrating various communications channels may seem overly complicated, the result from the customer perspective is simplified. Retailers can reduce challenges and risks by migrating to a cloud-based call center. A cloud-based communications solution not only provides channels for customer contact, but it allows for a complete set of customer data across these multiple interaction opportunities. If there is a web chat about product specifications, it would be helpful to capture the chat and other customer data, such as previous orders and customer support concerns.
Retailers can also speed up response time by allowing access to some internal knowledge and automating responses for common questions. Two common methods of increasing knowledge access are through establishing decision trees and process documents, which provide self-help roadmaps to those customers who prefer immediate and simple resolutions. Overall, by centralizing communication and collaboration, your team can focus on delivering products and services that further augment customer experience outside of the support arena.
Retail Call Center Services Solutions
A fully-integrated retail call system provides automation, access to data, multi-channel communications, and more. With modernized retail communications, the productivity of your sales and support staff will increase. In addition to business agility, you can drive sales through various initiatives, such as a mobile-first mindset, which is now driving up to 80 percent of all retail purchases.
8x8 provides these solutions and more, with a wide array of options that have a proven track record of optimizing communications and customer experiences for a host of enterprises, from large retailers to small shops. With 8x8, retailers can stay on top of changing customer expectations by providing flexible and responsive communications.
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 no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.