A Gartner report from 2014 previously identified customer experience (CX) as “the new battlefield,” noting that 89 percent of companies primarily compete based on customer experience. Today, the research firm claims that the “digital experience economy” includes not only customer experience but also employee experience (EX), user experience (UX), and multi-experience (MX), which are collectively referred to as MUCE. While excellence in one area is valuable, Gartner recommends a well-rounded, holistic approach: “When a MUCE strategy is executed in harmony and synchronicity, you can deliver transformative and memorable experiences for customers, employees, and all users of your digital products and policies, tools, and overall work environment.”
In practice, this means investing in CX and EX and empowering customer-facing workers with MX capabilities and a great UX in the digital workplace. Nowhere is this combination more critical than in retail, where “digital-first” is a survival strategy, and the Great Resignation left a trail of “Help Wanted” signs.
CX and EX can make or break a retailer, and a retailer’s communication and collaboration solutions impact both experiences. Unified communications (UC) can provide seamless communication and collaboration across various channels and devices, helping retailers improve their CX and the EX while facilitating more effective interactions.
Maintaining Speed and Accuracy
Speed and accuracy are essential to the customer experience, whether in person, online, or on the phone. According to a Forbes Special Report, 89 percent of consumers said they would stop doing business with a company if they received poor customer service, and 17 percent of consumers would not recommend a company to someone else if their customer service was slow (even if it was effective).
Retailers face the constant challenge of servicing customers when, where, and how they want. With society’s “on-the-go” mentality, customers want to interact with employees in a way that is both valuable and quick so that they don’t lose time waiting on a solution. Implementing business solutions that enable fast, efficient communications is key to meeting this challenge.
Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) allows retailers the opportunity to be where their customers are, providing fast and accurate information on the customer’s preferred channel. Here are a few features of the UCaaS system by Broadvoice that can help support this goal:
- Advanced call routing and auto attendant. Customers are connected to the right person the first time they call.
- One-click collaboration. Employees can easily chat, message, or video conference with each other to find a quick solution for the customer.
- Quick messaging. Retailers can use the Bubble by Broadvoice texting platform to reach a large group of customers simultaneously to keep them updated or receive and respond to texts from customers.
- Reliable service. If an outage occurs, customers can reach associates, who can access the cloud based system from any internet-enabled mobile device.
Retaining Human-Centric Service
How often have you shouted “Representative!” into the phone in response to digital prompts? Sometimes you just need to speak to a person. In this increasingly digital world, retailers must find the right combination of automation and human interaction to provide a stellar customer experience.
A sophisticated UCaaS system can help improve the human element in customer communications while also offering automated assistance when necessary. Here are a few ways UCaaS solutions support this goal:
- Advanced call routing and call forwarding. Call routing and call forwarding help customers reach the right person quickly.
- Real-time messaging. A messaging platform enables retailers to meet customers where they are (on their mobile phones) and provide quick solutions.
- Centralized management. Administrators can use call center analytics to inform scheduling and staff to ensure responsive service.
- Personalized options. A UC solution with built-in call center functionality and integrations for a CRM enables inbound record matching and screen pops with customer account information to deliver a more productive and personalized interaction.
Increasing Employee Satisfaction
While the customer is the center of the retail universe, you shouldn’t neglect your employees. Satisfied employees serve customers better when they feel valued, when they are given the necessary tools, and when they feel empowered to solve problems and make decisions.
Bridging the gap between a positive employee experience and a positive customer experience is easy with a UCaaS solution. UCaaS helps retailers improve the employee experience by facilitating:
- Seamless communications. A UCaaS platform centralizes your communication channels into one cohesive application for seamless, reliable communication through the cloud.
- Enhanced collaboration. Integrated screen sharing and file sharing features complement voice, chat, text, and conferencing capabilities, allowing coworkers to collaborate regardless of location.
- Improved engagement. Instant chat, video, and web conferencing aid in recruiting, hiring, and training new employees while also engaging current employees.
- Increased mobility. Employees can reach each other on one number, anywhere, from any internet-enabled device using the cloud based UC service.
Embracing the Digital Experience
As digitalization and automation continue to permeate everything we do, retailers face the challenge of keeping not one but two different human experiences at the center of their business — those of the employee and customer. By embracing a UC system for everyday work and interactions, retailers will benefit from seamless communication, enhanced collaboration, and faster problem-solving, improving employee satisfaction and customer service.
Contact us to learn how Broadvoice can help your retail business improve customer and employee experiences with unified communications.