Benefits of Unified Retail Communication
A retail communication program is more than a marketing campaign—it's the complete communication process, both external and internal.
As a retail company grows from one location, communication needs become more complex. Without a strategy and unified program in place, disparate systems and uncoordinated communication efforts will hold a company back. But if retail strategically invests in a comprehensive solution, customers and employees will experience a more streamlined sales process.
What does a retail communication program entail?
A company’s retail communication program includes every single customer touchpoint and internal communication. Examples include:
- Marketing: Email campaigns, social media campaigns, in-store sales
- Customer Service: Online FAQs, Customer Contact call centers, website live chat
- Storefronts: Branding, signage and promotions, sales clerks
- Data: Sales data, customer service call data, operations data
- Internal: Store-to-store, store to management
When a company has a robust, effective communication program, each piece of this puzzle works seamlessly together. And when internal communications are streamlined, the customer is more likely to have a good buying experience. It leads to best-in-class customer interactions.
One study showed that only 11% of retail organizations have a digital communication channel for front-line associates. Meaning your high-level strategic marketing and sales plan may never make it to the storefront.
Creating a Consistent Experience Through Consolidation
A retail communication program encompasses many disparate company functions. And the current communication technologies in place reflect that.
Many retail organizations have their own digital interaction technologies for various groups, such as eCommerce, IT, and customer service. But these disconnected services are not only more difficult and expensive to maintain, but they also silo customer experience insights.
By consolidating communication technologies, retailers can create a more consistent experience for consumers, and they can save employee time and resources as well.
For example, one of 8x8's customers, Town Fair Tires, found that many of the vendors they were evaluating for their call center did not have a business phone system. They would have to choose a separate business phone system company. But not only does this mean two implementations and two vendors to manage, but it also meant it would be more difficult to analyze call data between the two systems. Using 8x8's services, they had a unified system with detailed reports that helped them understand client needs and tailor programs and promotions.
Here are just a few of the benefits of a unified communication program:
- Share data between stores and eCommerce, and with inventory and marketing team so promotions and purchasing decisions can be adapted fast
- Blend CRM with Customer Service, so customer service reps can create better interactions and faster resolutions
- Identify your customer journey and provide insights that can be used for more effective marketing strategies
- Keep management informed of customer behavior to inform high-level strategic direction
- Reduce IT and other internal time combining data between systems
Unified Communication Programs Help Employees, Too
Understanding the benefit for the customer is key for gaining internal buy-in for new programs, but employee retention is a key benefit of a unified communication program.
Clear, consistent corporate messaging helps employees understand their role and the company's mission. Engagement will be higher, leading to higher productivity, sales, and morale.
Plus, easier access to customer data and behavior leads to deeper insights and less time spent merging data sets. Employees will be able to spend more time learning about customers and improving their competencies, and less time trying to pull and understand data.
It's Time for Unified Communications
There are many retail communication program options out there. But we believe that a unified program is the best way to establish a cohesive image across all touchpoints. All employees, in various stores and teams, will have access to the same data and information at the same time, making your business more agile and effective.
8x8’s X Series offers various plans that you can mix and match to address your company’s most pressing internal communication needs for every budget. With our Integrated Communications, Smarter Global Engagement, Speed to Resolution, and Customer Experience Transformation plans, there is an X Series level for everyone.
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.