While we live and shop in a digital-first world, consumers still want the option to interact with others. In the 2022 PwC Customer Loyalty Survey, one-third of respondents claimed that human interactions are an important factor in their loyalty to a company. The human connection between shoppers, frontline employees, and customer support staff is crucial in online and in-store environments, so much so that one in four respondents to the PwC survey admitted that they stopped buying from a business following a bad experience.
Enabling the Human Touch with Technology
All things being equal, customers will shop where they feel appreciated and connected to the brand. It’s not a hard line to draw — especially in a crowded retail space — and customers who have an enjoyable experience are more likely to return to the company.
Research from a 2022 IDC White Paper revealed that 77 percent of brands believe that customer experience (CX) is a key competitive differentiator in retail. Nothing will make a customer abandon a brand faster than employees who aren’t responsive or, even worse, aren’t empowered to resolve an issue. To add insult to injury, most disgruntled customers tell their friends and social networks about these bad experiences: research from Salesforce shows sixty-two percent of customers share their bad experiences with others. It’s clear that clever and memorable marketing can only take you so far: genuine CX is about personalized service and real connections.
Today, providing the best customer experience means reaching your customers proactively and supporting them immediately on the channel of their choice, whether by phone, email, text, or more. Solutions such as a unified communications as a service (UCaaS) platforms can enable a seamless and user-friendly communications experience.
Here is an example of how a UCaaS platform creates a positive experience. If a customer is online shopping and needs real-time assistance, a UCaaS platform enables the customer to reach a customer service representative by either calling the store or texting the business number. Since many consumers do their shopping, talking, and texting on their mobile phones, a UCaaS platform that supports both voice and text is beneficial.
Broadvoice b-hive has a built-in call center with advanced call routing to direct callers to the right person via phone. For those who prefer texting, Bubble by Broadvoice business texting integrates with Broadvoice b-hive, enabling retailers to support two-way texts between customers and customer service representatives, and automatic text routing ensures an employee answers the text, eliminating “lost” messages.
Investing in the Employee Experience Improves the Customer Experience
Even as employee and customer expectations continue to evolve, the need for effective communication will always remain. Employees want to be trusted and empowered to make decisions, and customers want quick answers to their questions. Retailers must embrace strategies and technologies that enable both concerns.
At its core, technology is a tool that enables employees to be more engaged, provide better service, and be more efficient and effective in their interactions. Technology should work for them, not the other way around.
Communications technology should allow employees to deliver resolutions at the first contact. Broadvoice b-hive enables employees to do this by providing an all-in-one platform that can be used to chat with the team about a customer issue while communicating with the customer in another text thread or on a voice call. A coworker may be able to offer guidance or answers while the customer is still engaged in a real-time discussion. This interaction keeps the customer in one queue rather than putting them on hold or transferring them to another extension.
Connecting Shoppers to a Real Person in Real-Time
It’s no secret that the retail industry is experiencing a digital transformation, and as a result, customer and employee expectations are evolving. Despite the range of channels available to connect and engage with representatives, customers sometimes want to talk to a real person in real-time. On the other hand, employees want to be empowered and equipped to fulfill their role as brand ambassadors, which means having the right tools to make those connections. From increasing efficiency and providing improved internal coordination to moving seamlessly from one channel to another, a comprehensive communications solution is vital to bridging the gap between high-tech and personalization.
Contact us to learn more about how your retail organization can enable real-time customer interactions with the Broadvoice b-hive all-in-one communications platform.