Retail Service Systems Drive Sales and Improved Customer Experience
Growth can be a challenge for retail businesses. New retailers quickly find difficulties in managing communications between multiple stores while providing optimal customer care through retail service systems, attaining sales goals and juggling other activities. Larger, more established businesses may experience a different problem— struggling with the limitations of legacy phones systems spread among multiple stores.
Add to these potential problems an ever-evolving retail environment that has shifted focus from customer service to customer experience. With new models for providing information to potential and existing customers, the state of retail is complicated for all participants. Successful businesses leverage new technologies to deliver customer experience while strengthening internal communication as well.
Retail Service Systems In General
When retail's focus was on customer service, it was easy to handle customers' needs. Each customer interaction, whether it was a sale, question or complaint simply involved the customer and a retail clerk, sales staff or customer support agent. Relevant information was, for the most part, limited to this one incident.
With the advent of information, such as the ability to effortlessly check prices, features, user reviews and other bits of data through smartphones, retailers quickly learned that price and product availability are just two cogs in a complex retail machine. Customers are looking for relationships with brands; they aren't always just looking for the lowest price. This lesson came from the fears of online behemoth retailers—notably Amazon. While Amazon has certainly converted many brick and mortar retailer customers, the rise of online shopping ultimately made several retailers stronger. Much of this strength was earned by responding to customer needs and creating great customer experiences.
Unified Communications as Retail Service System
The most useful retail service systems combine customer management with communications for a true unified communications (UC) solution. UC is cloud-based and enables optimized retail operations and customer experience by consolidating multi-channel communications and providing easy access to information. For retailers, UC solutions such as virtual call and contact centers further advance the goal of a more customer-centric model. As a cloud-based service, UC is especially helpful to retailers that need scalability. Many stores experience business cycles keyed to major shopping surges, such as the holiday shopping season.
As an illustration, your organization can trim expenses and speed up access to information by creating a responsive web portal, and other tools such as retail applications. However, if these components are not properly integrated, their individual benefits will be limited. Some retailers can exacerbate customer problems if their customer support phone lines or automated chat systems come off as too-technical. While customers are increasingly seeking self-help avenues for issue resolution, there comes the point when only a human voice can address concerns. This is where integration and use of different communications channels pay off.
Model Retail Service Systems
In order to deliver competitive customer experiences, retailers need to understand and be able to view their customer's entire lifecycle. UC solutions are tools, and without the right retail service systems roadmap, retailers can risk suboptimal results. So, in order to get the most out of your communications and customer experience tools, determine your customer roadmap. How do they order, shop, pay, deal with concerns and address other questions? Is there a streamlined method for customers to obtain answers to common questions? What are the service interfaces, and do they provide visibility into customer histories?
These questions help identified potential pain points in your systems from a customer and employee perspective. If there are commonly-aired complaints, your system should prioritize resolution of these issues. One way individual stores can leverage communications is through multiple means of reaching support employees who might have the best answers for the particular concern. Equipping sales floor employees with mobile devices that are linked to inventory and support documentation is another method of realizing the power of UC in retail.
8x8's retail UC solutions provide optimized communication for small retailers to large multi-store companies. Combine your information with communication and see happier customers who remain brand loyal. 8x8 can help retailers continue this high-level of customer experience by arming employees with the right tools to become more than sales clerks, but rather brand ambassadors and partners in customer experience delivery.
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.