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Last week, The Sander’s Retail Insights report was released. It reinforced a lot of common sense assumptions, but it also gave us deeper insight on just how important customer service is and why. Through their report, “Click & Collect, Contactless and Customer Service: What We Learned From the Retail Insights Survey 2015,” Business 2 Community highlighted important points that can also be found in this Sanderson’s Retail Insights 2015. They remind us that, to remain competitive in today’s market, we have to must the customer experience memorable. This also may mean evolving our business for accommodation.
In fact, Business 2 Community suggests bringing Online platforms to the actual store environment. According to the Sanderson Retail Insights Survey, “Nearly two-thirds of retailers believe that selling Online in-store using ordering solution kiosks will become commonplace by 2016.” Wal-Mart has recently spoken about implementing this, keeping shipping costs low by offering a larger variety of products not carried in store and shipping to the store for free.
Retailers around the world are creating kiosk space by adopting iPad kiosks for both in-store and online purchases. Customer service professionals are able to explain, and even upsell, purchases. They are also able to check inventory to see if the product is stocked in-store. This ironically increases customer interaction. This is also providing assurance to the 47% of consumers, since March, that wouldn’t have bought online, otherwise, due to skepticism. For this, 90% of retailers who have implemented multi-channel shopping say it is extremely important to allow online and in-store deliveries to rub elbows, as one in the same.
Once a customer goes to make a purchase, how is your store facilitating various payment methods? Many businesses have slowly tested and rolled out contactless payment methods through PayPal integrations, ApplePay and even mobile payment methods, as associated with wearable technologies.
In the past, we have seen people lose money, switching to a purely debit card method for payment, only to lose the debit card and have to wait 5-7 business days to receive a new one by US Mail. But, how often do we see people lose a cell phone?
It’s under this ideal that many businesses have begun facilitating alternative pay methods and services to this audience, which — by the way — has grown from the previous year. In fact, 67% of consumers are using alternative payment methods on a daily basis. That’s over $13B spent this year through alternative payment methods – a year that isn’t even over!
Finally, we can learn a lot just by listening to our consumer’s needs. Somewhere around 81% of retailers utilize social media strategies, as a tool into a customer’s mind. They monitor public conversations and find ways to meet the needs of consumers, providing them with the level of customer service that they seek or should have gotten the first time.
Responding to unhappy customers in real-time prevents negative reporting and comments to go viral and for customers to be retained for the long-term. It also allows a brand to adopt new consumers and for the implementation of product lines and business strategies that will meet the continual demand from a growing customer base.