Convenience is key for many shoppers but convenience can mean different things to different people. David Potter, SVP of Business Development at Firstsource Solutions, shares his insights in A1 Retail’s September issue, investigating the areas retailers can look at to ensure they are a convenient retailer. ‘In today’s busy world, consumers not only demand, but expect, great convenience from the brands they interact with. For retailers, the battle for customer loyalty and increased sales can be won or lost depending on how convenient their customers find the experiences they have with them.
But, convenience isn’t something that retailers can just turn off the moment a customer leaves a store or clicks ‘buy’. Building a strong consumer brand requires constant dialogue between the business and those that buy its goods or services. As a retailer, this means that your pre and post sale customer service needs to be as convenient to the consumer as the experience they have along the purchase and fulfilment path. And, one of the best ways of offering convenient customer service is building a range of customer contact channels.
For retailers targeting a digitally native customer segment, it can be tempting to rely solely on digital and self-service customer management options, such as FAQs on a website, or an automated chat bot. And yet, we have found that 65% of non face to face customer contacts still happen over the phone, and 15% over email.
This is because when a customer’s needs change, their preference for contact will too. What is convenient to a customer looking to set up an online account during their commute is very different to what is convenient to them when they are urgently trying to rectify an error on their bill during the middle of the day. For retailers, this means that convenience can only be achieved by offering the right mix of channels at all times, to engage with customers in ways that best suit their needs.