In the retail industry, the primary focus is generally on showcasing products to generate sales. However, research suggests that this approach alone is not sufficient to achieve customer satisfaction, improve experience (CX), and cultivate loyalty. Instead, retailers must prioritize human connections and meaningful exchanges with customers.
According to recent PwC research, customers have high expectations of retailers, and they are willing to pay a premium for efficiency, convenience, knowledgeable service, and friendly service. Therefore, businesses must prioritize technology and customer experience to meet these standards continuously, rather than only addressing them when issues arise.
Efficiency is crucial to delivering a seamless customer experience. The right technology can minimize friction, maximize speed, and enhance the human element valued by every customer. Unifying a company’s technology suite, from CRM to POS, provides powerful AI/ML services that save representatives time on manual tasks, enabling them to solely focus on personalized customer engagement. Tools like chatbots or automatically triggered responses provide immediate support, even on mobile platforms, which can offer a critical differentiator for retailers looking to improve accessibility and convenience.
Seamless customer experience unification also enables retailers to passively ingest, share, and store any and all relevant customer information, improving future interactions. When these disparate tools are correctly integrated, a unified customer service system equips service representatives with immediate access to past customer interactions, product use case details, new product inquiries, and preferred frequency and mode of engagement. This enables retailers to personalize customer experiences, whether in-store or online.
Data analytics is just as important to customer service as it is for sales or marketing. However, data capture alone is not sufficient to improve customer experience. Even a fully integrated, automated, and contextual CX system requires management and improvement based on constantly evolving market conditions. Once a business is pulling in the right information, data analytics solutions can take over, providing invaluable insight into team and campaign performance.
Successful customer experience is about marrying powerful technology with meaningful human engagement. While comprehensive insights and context are crucial, service agents must also have usable information and be able to connect with customers effectively and thoughtfully. This is particularly true for smaller organizations that lack the time, personnel, or resources to maintain consistently high customer experience. Regardless of scale, enterprises are more likely to achieve the best customer experience results with a solution that balances advanced capabilities with ease of use and organization-wide adoption.