Raising the Bar on Customer Experience in Retail: How Stellar Customer Support Can Help

AllCloud Blog:
Cloud Insights and Innovation

In the highly competitive retail industry, experience matters – a lot. 

So what sets apart the retailers that offer the best experiences? In many cases, it’s customer support.

Consumers now expect highly personalized, high touch experiences from start to finish, and that includes their interactions with a brand when something goes wrong or they have a question. As a result, retailers need a contact center solution that can empower support agents to deliver this ideal experience. Here’s a look at what it takes.

Your Customers Have Questions. Do You Have Answers?

Retailers of all kinds – from online to brick and mortar, from those who sell clothing to those who sell electronics, and everything in between – receive a high volume of customer questions throughout the day.

These questions typically include inquiries about product details, order status updates, troubleshooting, returns, replacements, and more. And customers expect complete answers to their questions quickly.

Against this backdrop, every retailer must be prepared with not only answers, but also a quality experience from the time customers reach out to the time they get the answer they need – otherwise those customers are likely to take their business elsewhere.

To make this work time and again, retailers must streamline customer support processes in order to improve response times, enhance customer satisfaction, and increase agent productivity, all without sacrificing the personal touch.

What it Takes to Deliver Top Notch Customer Support in Retail

Ideally, retailers need a contact center solution that supports streamlined support processes and personalization across channels. Key capabilities include:

  • Centralized customer information: A single source of truth for all customer data, including customer profiles with preferences, purchase history, and past interactions, is essential. This gives support agents easy access to information and ensures consistency across interactions throughout the entire customer journey.
  • Omnichannel support: With consumers moving fluidly across channels, retailers need to be able to support those customers wherever they are – whether that’s phone, email, chat, or social media. Enabling customers to reach out from their channel of choice makes the entire process more convenient, and having a single interface to manage interactions regardless of channel streamlines the process for agents too.
  • Case management: Advanced case management allows support agents to track and prioritize customer inquiries from initial outreach to resolution. On top of this case management, having a clear service console that displays relevant customer information, case details, and pertinent product information on a single screen makes troubleshooting and answering questions even easier for support agents. In turn, this level of insight allows for a more efficient resolution and ensures visibility throughout the entire process.
  • Knowledge base: Having a knowledge base complete with FAQs, troubleshooting guides, and product information helps support agents and customers alike. For support agents, it can make answering common questions far easier and help maintain consistency across the board. Meanwhile, making the knowledge base public empowers customers to self-serve for basic needs, allowing them to reach an answer quickly and reducing the workload for agents.
  • Automation with AI: AI-powered support capabilities can go a long way toward improving contact center efficiency. For example, AI chatbots can handle routine customer inquiries and provide instant responses 24/7, which improves response times and support availability. AI can also generate knowledge base articles for faster content creation, supercharge insights with customer sentiment analysis, and intelligently route customers to the right department based on their needs to deliver faster responses. Overall, this level of automation and insight can provide better, faster support while freeing up agents to focus on more complex issues.
  • Integration with ecommerce platform: The ability to integrate a contact center solution with a retailer’s ecommerce platform supports a seamless data exchange, which is important for real-time updates on order status, inventory levels, customer interactions, and more. Overall, this level of information sharing helps deliver a consistent and highly personalized experience across touchpoints at every stage of the customer journey.
  • Analytics and reporting: Delivering top-notch support requires a deep understanding of what’s happening, which is where analytics and reporting tools come into play. These tools should provide insights into key performance metrics like response times, resolution rates, and customer satisfaction scores. These insights help identify trends, pinpoint areas for improvement, and highlight opportunities to enhance the customer experience.

When Your Customers Win, So Does Your Brand

Effectively supporting customers with timely, personalized assistance contributes to a better overall customer experience. As a result, it leads to higher customer satisfaction and greater loyalty.

But a stellar support experience isn’t just important to customers. The retailers that do support well also see notable benefits around internal operations.

To start, having the right solution in place – including case management, a knowledge base, and automation with AI – can improve agent productivity by allowing support agents to handle inquiries more efficiently and by reducing the average time to resolution. 

Next, deep capabilities around reporting and analytics can provide valuable insights into customer behavior and support performance to power more data-driven decisions. These decisions can help improve everything from future support operations to product and order fulfillment choices.

Finally, a flexible solution that makes it easy to adapt to changing customer needs and growing business demands provides long-term scalability to adjust operations as needed. This scalability is essential in an industry that moves as quickly as retail does.

Ready to Improve Contact Center Operations for Your Retail Brand?

If your retail brand is ready to stand up a scalable contact center to streamline operations and improve the customer experience, you’ve come to the right place.

AllCloud has a long history of working with retailers, making us an expert in the industry. Combined with our contact center and customer support expertise, our team has the experience you need to launch top notch support operations.

Ready to learn more? Learn more about our Service Cloud Quick Start and contact us to get started today!

Chris Zullo

Marketing Cloud Practice Director

Read more posts by Chris Zullo