It’s getting more and more difficult to keep up with customer service expectations. As soon as new technology emerges, customers expect you to adopt it. And when they shop – no matter where or how they choose to buy products – they want the process to be as seamless as possible.
As a result, retail and eCommerce businesses must make strategic decisions every year to boost their goodwill, grow their customer base, and strengthen customer loyalty.
What do you, as a retailer, need to offer to not only manage but exceed customer expectations this year? Here are our top five picks.
To customers, technology equals speed. eCommerce stores can be accessed in milliseconds from search engines. SMS and messaging apps allow people to communicate with friends, family, and businesses in real-time. Even payments move faster – as consumers send money back and forth to each other via platforms like Venmo and PayPal.
Now that shopping has moved online, this expectation for speed is expanding to include order management and product shipping too.
That means you need to invest in technologies that allow you to ship orders to customers faster. You need to shorten delivery lanes, either by using an omnichannel OMS to spread inventory strategically across fulfillment centers and stores or by handing off your fulfillment to a 3PL that has additional locations close to customers. You also need to review your fulfillment routes to ensure that all orders follow a direct path to your customers’ doorsteps.
Self-Serve Customer Care
No customer wants to wait on hold while your customer service agents look up information to solve their problem. They expect the answers to be readily available when they come looking for them. And in the case of FAQs, their expectations are even higher.
One way retailers can provide this type of customer support is through self-serve strategies. In other words, by allowing your customers to find answers and solve problems themselves. Radial allows you to do this by employing:
- IVR technology, which enables your customers to find answers to FAQs on a visual mobile interface
- AI chatbots that use natural language processing (NLP) to respond to customer questions and route shoppers to live agents when needed
Omnichannel Customer Experience
Omnichannel is a big buzzword this year. Marketers are talking about it in regard to their overarching marketing strategy and campaigns. Customer support teams are discussing it as the solution to messy customer profiles and current customer satisfaction levels. And so on.
Omnichannel shouldn’t be isolated to a particular department, though. It should exist everywhere in your organization. That means, in addition to adopting cutting-edge marketing and customer support tools, you need to invest in an omnichannel OMS, as it allows you to easily manage all of your orders and ship parcels in the fastest and most cost-effective way possible.
With OMS technology like Radial, you can get orders to customers effortlessly via:
- Ship-from-store (SFS) fulfillment
- Ship-to-store fulfillment
- Employee delivery
- In-store pickup
- Standard delivery
Many of your shoppers care deeply about your brand impact. They want to know that you’re doing your part to care for the environment and are using your resources (including your packing materials) in a sustainable way.
As a result, retail and eCommerce businesses can’t afford to treat realistic sustainability practices as a nice-to-have, anymore. The way things are trending, the decision to be more responsible and strategic with environmental resources, and partner with businesses that prioritize sustainability will make a difference in maintaining a happy customer base in 2021.
Machine Learning Payment Processing
Your customers trust you with sensitive personal and payment information. So it’s vital that you protect their data in the best way possible.
However, the massive shift to eCommerce shopping has opened the door for fraudsters to steal more credit card information, email addresses, physical addresses, and passwords – and use them to make fraudulent purchases. And since fraud is getting more sophisticated all the time, it’s growing increasingly difficult to detect it when it happens.
This means retailers and eCommerce brands who are doubling down on online shopping this year need to have payment protection in place that can keep pace with criminal behavior. In other words, you need machine learning tools that can detect fraud automatically, without turning away legitimate customers.
Offering zero fraud liability and a 99% approval rate, Radial’s fraud protection suite enables you to effectively stop criminals in their tracks and keep customer orders moving seamlessly through your payment processor.
While customer service expectations can feel overwhelming, there are several strategies you can use to meet and exceed them this year. And best of all, Radial has all the tools you need to offer faster delivery, self-serve customer care, omnichannel experiences, sustainability, and secure payment processing.