American Express recently conducted a customer service study that found “59% [of customers] will try a new brand or company for a better service experience.” A successful retailer understands that the customer service experience is essential to gain new customers and maintain customer loyalty. A poor customer service experience will largely affect a customer’s willingness to do business with your company which is why it is essential to provide a differentiated customer service experience. Call center solutions that utilize artificial intelligence can ensure that a customer is receiving a personalized and unique experience while reducing operating costs for your business.
Some of the challenges facing Retailers include:
• Sales is king and getting sales channel customers to a live agent quickly is paramount.
• Customers want fast and easy exchanges and 24 hour access to status and returns.
• Marketplace competition is fierce and customer service differentiation is critical.
• Store operations represent expensive infrastructure to be managed.
• PCI compliance for credit card capture.
• Complex fraud prevention processes for returns.
A comprehensive and full-service solution should be uniquely positioned to solve these challenges and support a differentiated retail customer service experience. Through the utilization of artificial intelligence, quicker, more intuitive, cost effective and human-like conversations with your retail customers are able to take place.
Our perspective on voice self-service for our Retail customers:
Most retailers want an actual human to “close the sale” and in most cases we agree! When a sales opportunity is detected, the solution should be able to quickly transfer that call to one of your qualified “closers.” Other situations are better suited for order placement through automation but the complexity of sizes, features, multiple line items, and special pricing are just too complicated for traditional IVRs. An IVR with the ability to utilize Artificial Intelligence really pays off in these situations as it is better suited to secure the sale confidently without involving an expensive CSR.
Order status and WISMO (“where is my order”) applications are commonplace for retailers. A robust solution should not only have your internal supply chain covered but also shipper integration and the ability to change or cancel an order, just like an agent. In addition to the traditional capabilities in this area, the system should be able to anticipate why the customer is calling and present relevant options up front. Additionally, repeat callers should be able to enjoy fast access to common capabilities for their needs.
We’ve all been there: buy something online, in-store, or from the pages of our favorite catalog. Before you know it, that “must-have” item becomes the “must-return” item, and we’ve found from experience that customers would prefer to process returns using an efficient and hassle-free self-service option. During the return process, attempting to save the sale is crucial to retailers in order to retain revenue and customer loyalty, the same way a live call center agent can. In addition, a good IVR system should be able to issue return authorization numbers to expedite the return process once the item has been sent back. Finally, the incorporation of business rules and targeting should allow the system to offer customized value options to the customer.
Forrester Research, Inc. recently released projections that online shoppers “will spend $327 billion in 2016.” Customers who order online, or by phone, want to know when an order ships, when it will arrive, and tracking information – all in real time. Retailers want this too; proactive communication means fewer low-value calls to the call center. In addition, retailers offering home delivery services know that there are high not-at-home delivery costs that result from the unnecessary truck roll, subsequent delivery attempts, and (non-financially) frustrated customers. The ability to provide customers with up-to-date tracking information, whether inbound or outbound, when it is available contributes to improving overall customer satisfaction.
Some retailers offer payment plans to their customers in order to expand their customer base. Customers require flexibility in updating their payment method to ensure payments are submitted in a timely manner. Likewise, companies have a vested interest in making sure customers have valid payment methods in place. Offering a PCI compliant self-serve option for complex transactions reduces the call volume for live call center agents.
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