With Customer Service Week having just been and gone, Cyara co-founder and CEO Alok Kulkarni (pictured below) has penned this timely piece on how retailers can take their relationship with consumers to new heights.
In the past few years’ Australian retailers have made significant strides to improve the quality of their customer service. Although most retailers are complying with the requirements of the digital age, many still lag behind and struggle to offer experiences that match Aussie customers’ expectations.
The retail sector needs to come to terms with the fact that customer service is now no longer about how a customer is greeted at a door, or the content of a ‘thank you’ email after a purchase or subscription sign-up. Today, the customer experience is just as much about the speed of a webpage loading, the reliability of a payment going through, or the security of customer data, as it is about the buyer-seller relationship.
It’s this complexity that has made customer expectations seemingly impossible to reach. The faster retailers can test, use, and optimise the technology behind their products to gain and maintain the trust of their customers, the stronger their customer loyalty will become. Customer Service Week should have acted as a reminder for retailers to continue to develop customer-centric strategies to improve their customer experience, and ultimately profitability.
Sharing (data) is caring
As the Australian retail sector prepares for the looming arrival of Amazon, small businesses in particular might be feeling pressure to get their omni-channel customer journeys in order. While large retailers have the resources to build new systems or re-architect existing ones, smaller retailers aren’t always in the same position.
The first step towards customer service innovation is simple: invest in testing. Today’s customers engage with companies in multi-channel and cross-channel journeys, pausing them and resuming them over time. With the customer voice so powerful, that one wrong move could alter mass perceptions of a brand overnight, safeguarding an organisation to establish long-term loyalty and increase digital growth is a must.
For example, Pizza Hut recently came under scrutiny after customers discovered that they had been charged up to five times for the same order. Many complained they were unable to resolve the issue on the app and opted to call the store instead, to little success. Customer complaints ranged from being transferred between various staff members and having to repeat themselves at every stage, to long call wait times. These poor experiences reflect a clear lack of investment in operational customer experience measurement and the absence of customer service best practice initiatives across departments.
Ultimately, the overall perception of an organisation’s CX will be greatly improved through providing the customer service team with the tools to pre-empt a customer’s enquiry. To expand on the Pizza Hut example, if a customer begins a conversation on the app about being overcharged and it’s not resolved, it is likely they will then call the store to seek further help. If staff have easy access to the relevant customer conversation history on the app, they will be able to pre-empt that the customer is likely calling about the same overcharging issue and can then easily pick up where the app conversation left off.
Time-poor customers never want to feel like they’re interacting with an organisation for the first time. Information should be easily accessible so that repetition is kept at a minimum and interaction times are reduced. Not only does this improve the customer’s experience, it also reduces operational costs for the organisation.
Staying ahead of the curve
Delivering on ever-evolving customer expectations may be a daunting prospect for many retailers. With global retail giants like Amazon leading the customer experience game, demand for omni-channel customer experiences is higher than ever before.
However, there are a few simple yet effective measures that retailers can take to achieving omni-channel success. Looking to win the customer satisfaction race, retailers must invest in operational customer experience (OCX) measurement. Measuring OCX provides the organisation with the ability to view a customer’s journey across all digital channels with an outside-in perspective in an objective and repeatable and way. This allows for flawless customer experiences because it detects operational failures that lead to customer dissatisfaction so they can be resolved before a customer ever encounters them.
Staying ahead of the curve and delivering consistently perfect customer service may seem impossible, but having the right technologies in place to protect and future-proof the retail industry from the unpredictable is essential for retaining customer loyalty. For example, if you don’t have an app, or your site isn’t mobile friendly or is hard to navigate, you will lose existing and prospective customers. Therefore, effectively managing the customer experience is no longer a ‘nice to have’, and an organisation’s OCX needs to be precise, flawless and at a lower cost, otherwise they risk losing market share.
Given the ease in switching brands, time-poor consumers are very unforgiving and will easily turn to competitors after experiencing CX failures. As retailers chase customer satisfaction, they must ensure communication is cohesive across all channels. With the rise of digital disruption in the retail space, organisations must communicate with customers through a number of technologies that come together to form one journey across different channels.
Marc Collister (pictured) of P2 Content Creators spills the beans on his 2024 predictions drawing from two decades of experience in the advertising, film and television industry. I’m certain it will come as no surprise that in 2024, we can expect our industry to move at breakneck speed again. With even more rapid shifts in […]
Reddit’s annual Recap report has revealed the issues and moments that captured Australia’s collective mind over 2023 with, naturally, the Matildas featuring high on the list. The inaugural Australia-hosted Women’s World Cup saw Aussies glued to the footy (or, indeed soccer) with one enterprising user capturing the moment that Cortnee Vine scored the winner against […]
Zeno Australia has announced expanded creative design capabilities and the appointment of Jim Michell (lead image) to its senior leadership team. The new moves support strong growth in the region. Zeno Australia’s clients, including Abano Healthcare, Motorola and Yorkshire Tea, can now tap into a suite of creative design services to augment the agency’s work […]
Spikes Asia, APAC’s most prestigious and sought-after Award for creativity and marketing effectiveness, has revealed its 2024 Jury line-up today. The 93 industry experts from across 18 markets represent APAC’s leading talent from a diverse range of disciplines. 2024 sees the highest representation from brands, including Budweiser, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and, for the first […]
Assembled Media, is drawing upon the creative power of TikTok Creator Marketplace to help generate unique, impactful content for iconic stationery brand, BIC. The social activation campaign titled ‘A Pen for Every Side of You’ promotes the flexibility of BIC’s 4 Colours pen and is active nationwide on the BIC Stationery TikTok account. The campaign […]
Pinterest reckons jellyfish & moody cowboys will be big in 2024. Refused to be drawn on the return of shoulder pads.
IAB Australia has launched ‘Evolution in Market Mix Modelling’, the fourth module in its Marketing Measurement Innovation Series, which has been developed by IAB Australia’s Ad Effectiveness Council. The module explores what is driving the increased use of MMM and how the technique is evolving with advances in computing power and machine learning to provide […]
Scope3, the collaborative sustainability platform leading the decarbonisation of media and advertising, announced the addition of digital out-of-home (DOOH) to its emissions measurement. With DOOH ad spending predicted to grow from $17B in 2023 to nearly $24B by 2028, measuring this channel brings us one step closer to understanding the total impact of digital advertising […]
NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show Asia Pacific, is now open for online registrations for the main conference. Jointly organized by the National Retail Federation and Comexposium, Retail’s Big Show Asia Pacific will take place from 11 – 13 June, 2024 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore and is expected to draw thousands […]
Following a period of significant client growth, leading auto marketing agency, DBC2 has appointed Jason Fisher (lead image) to the newly created role of CEO. The appointment is part of DBC2’s long term growth strategy ahead of the agency announcing a brand refresh and expanded proposition in early-2024. As a new shareholder of the business, […]
Don’t treat regional media as a charity, but a real growth opportunity: That’s the message from Boomtown’s final masterclass of 2023, attended by almost 100 media industry representatives from across the nation. The masterclass was part of a series of educational sessions, delivered by Boomtown, the media collective championing advertising in regional Australia. The sessions […]