Author – Debbie Nolan, Business Development Director for CRM & Public Sector, Arvato UK & Ireland
With consumers now able to browse, purchase, compare pricing and review products at any given time, across a growing number of channels and devices, they’re becoming more demanding and powerful than ever before.
Also according to Arvato’s Outsourcing Index, outsourcing spend in the retail sector more than doubled year-on-year to £155.3 million in Q1 2016, with delivering an improved multi-channel shopping experience the driver behind 60 per cent of agreements.
As a result, retailers are focusing on developing a business model that is 100 per cent customer centric to boost satisfaction, retention and brand loyalty, which inevitably improves sales. To support this approach, there are a number of customer relationship management (CRM) innovations that can help retailers to deliver the seamless brand experience their customers expect.
Immerse your staff in the brand
Speed of query resolution is more critical than ever. Consumers expect their issues to be sorted at their first point of contact, by customer service representatives who are knowledgeable and who are able to respond immediately across a range of channels.
To achieve this, it’s important that customer service providers work in close partnership with their clients to ensure employees are fully immersed in the brand through training and hands-on product experience. Creating branded working environments inside contact centres is another effective tactic.
One innovative route is through live video links to client headquarters. For example, to support one of our fashion retailer clients, we introduced an ‘always-on’ video conferencing service between our contact centre and their team. It is used for everything from training and product demonstrations to team meetings, to bring both parties together.
The technology enables our advisors to relay customer queries about a product and receive a real-time response. It is an easy way to communicate – open, direct, instant, and personal – which empowers people, fosters team spirit and creates a sense of integration, while ensuring a seamless journey for the customer.
By providing services across a wide range of channels, retailers have the opportunity to enrich the customer experience, increase brand loyalty and gather valuable data for targeted CRM strategies at every stage of the customer life cycle.
Reducing potential lost revenue
According to Baymard Institute, 67 per cent of all online shopping carts are abandoned without completing a transaction. Reasons for abandonment include poor website functionality or complex payment and registration processes. At Arvato, we use software which can track people on their shopping journey and predict risk of basket abandonment by identifying long periods of inactivity or repetitive behaviour. The technology will then generate a web chat pop-up asking the user if they require assistance, which can help keep the consumer on track with their shopping journey.
Brands need to be flexible and appreciate local cultures, customs and languages to meet consumers’ varied expectations. For communications taking place via web-chat, automatic translation software should be available to customer service operators to ensure no matter where the customer lives, the advisor is able to communicate with them in their native language.
Customer behaviour data
A key element of retail success now lies in customer behaviour data, which can help to unlock insight and inform the development of more effective sales and marketing campaigns, including lead generation. Intelligent CRM systems can play a big role in helping to identify relevant leads through the use of statistical and data mining methods across digital and traditional channels.
To grow brand loyalty, retailers will need to have robust CRM methods in place for tracking the behaviour of increasingly tech-savvy consumers. They also require the expertise to be able to interpret and use the data available to them to make customer shopping journeys the best they can possibly be.