Authored by David Morton, Sales and Solutions Director at Arvato CRM Solutions UK
As consumers increasingly choose to engage with brands through digital platforms, resulting in less face-to-face contact, the retail customer experience needs to adapt accordingly. Channels will need to be optimised to deliver proactive, next best action, insight-driven solutions, helping to drive sales as well as reacting to customer enquiries.
Digital technology provides an opportunity to deliver consistent, highly personalised, seamless and proactive service across consumers’ channels of choice. This is of increased importance within the contact centre, with data helping brands to gain greater customer insight, augmenting the interactions of human agents and automating simple, functional processes.
There are three specific areas where the contact centre will need to focus in order to deliver an effective, highly personalised retail customer experience.
Creating personalised experiences through ‘next best actions’
As Luke Schönenberger, Senior Ecommerce Manager at Benefit Cosmetics UK & Ireland, pointed out in our recent report on the future of retail customer experience, the wider trend in retail personalisation will transform online interactions between brands and their customers.
By using technology to collate and analyse customer data captured from all touchpoints, contact centres can help empower agents to provide the fast, personalised services that customers demand.
Solutions such as robotic process automation (RPA) can be used to automatically collate and analyse customer information from every point of contact into one unified customer relationship management system (CRM) – creating a detailed 360 degree-view of a customer.
Integrating this profile with artificial intelligence can then deliver ‘next best action’ recommendations to human agents. Predictive analytics can evaluate information such as previous purchases or items browsed to suggest products or services that a specific customer might want or need. This will ultimately help to improve the quality and relevance of service offered and in turn help to drive sales and support all-important customer retention.
Enabling proactive outreach
Technology will also be key in driving proactive customer outreach.
For example, at Arvato, our ProcessAutomate solution uses RPA to automatically handle repetitive, high-volume tasks including direct debit changes, e-forms and order processing, freeing-up valuable time for agents to focus on more high value, proactive, engagement.
By marrying technological solutions with insight into where customers can self-serve and where they might need more support, retailers can also adapt existing contact centre models to help them most efficiently deploy their valuable human resources.
Cognitive interactive voice response technology (IVR) can help to process basic queries, such as information on a physical outlet’s opening times or a retailer’s return policy, without a customer having to speak to a human agent.
Should an enquiry evolve to become more complex, or require a more nuanced, emotive response, cognitive IVR can re-direct the customer to an agent who can engage with the customer directly – maximising the time agents can otherwise spend on proactive activity.
Cutting costs while enhancing experiences
In addition to freeing-up time, a contact centre model that augments human agents with technology can drive also drive significant cost efficiencies – unlocking resources that retailers can redeploy to enhance their customer experience offering.
Across our partnerships at Arvato, we have successfully delivered a reduced cost-per transaction by up to 95 per cent by using systems such as IVR and RPA. This is a highly effective, easy to deploy and non-invasive technology resource that retailers can re-invest in customer experience or use to support investment in other parts of their business – a focus that will be high on many boardroom agendas, as retailers continue to consider how they can position their brands to keep ahead of their competition.
By partnering with Arvato, we can help you assess your contact centre models and apply tech solutions that can meet the customer experience demands of a rapidly evolving retail landscape while also driving efficiencies.
Contact us to learn more about how we can support your organisation develop a transformation roadmap to future-proofing your contact centre – CRMSE@arvato.co.uk