The top reason why customers switch between brands is poor customer service. According to American Express, 78% of customers canceled a transaction after a bad customer service experience. Furthermore, studies have always shown that dissatisfied and angry customers will no longer buy again. It is indisputable that good Customer Service in retail is a key factor in customer loyalty.
Retail Industry Challenges
Competition: Nowadays, it is very hard to make your brand stand out. Businesses need to address one very important question: What makes us different? Consumer markets are flooded with companies providing more or less the same products and services. Customer service in retail can make this difference.
Customer demands: Retail companies need to adapt to fast-changing customer demands. Moreover, customer expectations are higher than ever. For example, they want to be able to shop online, to order deliveries, to save time and to not wait in lines. The recent years have seen a rise in e-commerce companies. This means that retail businesses need to dominate the online market in order to be successful. Therefore, retail companies need to make sure that they deliver exceptional customer service throughout the whole customer journey, online or offline.
Understaffing: Clients expect a high level of personalization and meeting that can be challenging if you are understaffed. It is impossible for your staff to focus on each client individually if there is a big number of customers to deal with. On the other hand, retail companies need to take care not only of their brick-and-mortar shops but also of their online shops and their clients. To add, e-commerce websites bring more business to companies and therefore, online customers should be delivered good customer service. Most of the retailers and e-commerce companies tackle this challenge by outsourcing customer support. This helps give every single customer the attention they need, without needed to invest in more staff.
Technology: Another challenge for retail and e-commerce companies is having a system that would help them manage online orders as well as customer inquiries. Having a system specially built for managing an e-commerce website helps them with the organization and the all-in-one-place management.
The customer service importance in the retail industry
Excellent customer service would solve most if not all the challenges of the retail industry. It would add a competitive advantage, increase customer loyalty and brand awareness and improve customer relationships. Furthermore, good customer service would also increase sales numbers and lower marketing costs. Here are some of the main reasons why customer service in retail should be a top priority:
Customer Loyalty. In a sea of competitors and plenty of options to choose from, customer service becomes the key factor for making a business stand out. In addition, research has shown that buyers will prioritize their customer experience even over quality. According to Accenture, 81% of customers switched loyalties when they were not satisfied with the customer service they received.
Good for Sales too. Customers are willing to pay higher prices for the products and services if they feel that they are being treated well. A satisfied customer is also more likely to purchase more in the future. Generally, happy clients will also be willing to recommend a business to their friends. In other words, focusing on customer service doesn't leave the sales numbers behind. On the contrary, it will give them a major push.
Customer Feedback. If a business prioritizes good customer service in retail, they will identify issues more easily. As a result, they will be able to resolve them faster. For example, if you listen to your clients and their feedback, you will identify recurring patterns or issues that will help to improve your service or products. Moreover, by identifying the common struggles of your clients with your service or product, you can find a way to eliminate them.
How to provide good customer service in retail?
We can all agree that excellent customer servicein retail is important, but how can we achieve it?
Firstly, you would need to have competent and capable teams. Having a well-trained and professional team specialized in customer service is often very costly. Therefore, companies resort to outsourcing customer service. Leaving it to professionals is the best course of action.
Secondly, companies need to listen to their customers and understand their needs. Customers want to feel valued and well-treated. They want companies to show that they care and that they are important to them. For this reason, companies need to provide a personalized service, giving every customer query their right importance. However, that would be hard to achieve if your employees have to attend to other tasks and duties and if you don't have a dedicated team for customer support.
Thirdly, companies should provide seamless communication for their clients who contact them through several of their preferred channels. Omnichannel customer support is a must of the retail industry. By outsourcing customer service, companies don't need to make any further investment for the technology needed.
Lastly, retail companies shouldn't focus on giving support only before and during the sales process. After sales support is just as important if you want to build a long term relationship with your clients. Loyal customers are worth more than one-time customers. Moreover, according to Harvard Business Review, it is from 5-25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain a current one.
We Are Fiber
At WeAreFiber, we understand the importance that your clients have for your business. We work with several retail companies and help them focus on their core competencies while we take care of their clients. Our partnership with these companies has enabled WeAreFiber to gain deep and operational know-how of the retail industry.
WeAreFiber's goal is to act as a trusted partner while working alongside retail companies and help them increase their revenue, manage their e-commerce platform, set up an omnichannel solution and increase their brand awareness.
Click here to request a quote or to discuss how WeAreFiber can optimise your business model.