From shopping habits to customer service, Covid-19 has prompted major shifts in consumer behavior. Health and safety concerns have pushed shoppers to embrace contactless and online shopping. The need for instant gratification has facilitated a demand for customer care on new digital channels. And the financial hardship many individuals are experiencing has brought “buy now, pay later” payment options to the forefront.
With so many moving pieces to consider, designing a seamless customer experience for 2021 and beyond is difficult. In this post, we’ll discuss some must-have elements of the modern customer experience and give you some tips on how to deliver it.
Same Day & Next Day Fulfillment
As online shopping and other contactless options have taken root, wait time between purchase and delivery has become a necessity. Unfortunately, this hasn’t curbed customers’ impatience, as they still expect products to arrive quickly -- no matter where they ship from.
Offering same day and next day fulfillment options can make a huge difference to your customer experience, as it shrinks the expected wait to a more comfortable length of time. This can encourage online shoppers to stay loyal to your brand and help you win more business, as customers who need a product delivered immediately will gravitate toward the retail and eCommerce businesses that can provide the shortest order cycle time.
24/7 Customer Care
Whether you sell products internationally or not, you will get customer support tickets at all hours asking questions about accounts, products, and returns. But unless you have your customer care team burning the midnight oil or spread across multiple countries, it can be difficult to respond quickly.
However, if you want to consistently provide top-notch support to your customers, you can’t afford to let your customer care slip during late-night hours. AI chatbots can remedy this problem by taking the load of customer questions anytime your support agents are busy or out of the office. They can pull canned customer care responses to answer questions, provide tutorials and guides related to the inquiry to help customers self-serve their issues, and even take messages when customer care agents are necessary.
This means shoppers can get help when they need it, and your customer care agents can still get their rest.
Omnichannel Customer Support
The same way your customers don’t all reach out during business hours, not all of your customers are comfortable reaching out via the same channel. Some prefer to email or chat on the phone, while others are more inclined to live chat or text with representatives.
In any case, having multiple options available (like email, social media, live chat, SMS messaging, and phone calls) for your customer support agents to engage with shoppers can make a big difference to your overall customer experience. Not only does it enable you to respond quickly whenever a customer reaches out with a concern or question, but it also allows you to deliver the same level of service everywhere your customers are.
As customers transition to contactless shopping, the customer experience is becoming more impersonal. Rather than interacting with people, customers interact with a screen as they navigate around your website or social media profiles to purchase products.
Personalizing the online experience can make a huge difference to your customers as it keeps them connected to your brand and helps them feel like a person instead of a receipt number. Here are just a few ways you can personalize the experience:
- Offer purchase recommendations based on the past buying behavior and online browsing preferences
- Suggest product pairing, based on what they’ve put in their online shopping cart during a certain browsing session
- Customize welcome messages on your website and live chat blurbs to make repeat customer feel noticed and appreciated
- Leverage customer data to “continue” the conversation with shoppers during sales and customer care interactions
- Use custom packaging and other value-adds to make your orders more personalized and branded
Omnichannel is a Must
The fact is: as consumer behavior shifts to accommodate new health, safety, and convenience values, retail and eCommerce businesses need to rise to the occasion. One of the best (and easiest) ways to do that is by partnering with an omnichannel order management provider who has the capabilities you need to improve your order management, fulfillment, and customer care operations.
With Radial, you can leverage customer data and predictive analytics to optimize your inventory. Fulfillment teams can lean on Radial’s fulfillment centers to handle orders with value-added packaging and returns at scale. And you can hand off your omnichannel customer service needs to Radial’s Customer Care team to deliver support via social media, SMS messaging, live chat, phone calls, email, and more.
As we adjust to meet customer expectations in 2021, we’ll need to pivot to provide better, faster, and more personalized service. Fortunately, by expanding the reach of our customer service, fulfilling orders faster, personalizing our interactions with our customers, and partnering with the right omnichannel provider, you can effectively provide a seamless customer experience.