Changing the Service Equation in Retail, Product On-boarding, and Support
Have you ever been wowed by a retail store visit? I mean – you walk in and the staff is friendly and attentive, knowledgeable about their products and how they will work for you – it can be the perfect, personalized experience. I think of those legendary tales of customer experience from Nordstrom and realize that it doesn’t even matter whether or not the “tire story” is true – Nordstrom’s brand will be synonymous with excellent retail service for a generation.
In the meantime, however, the new “digital first” generation has come along with a different set of expectations for service. They buy largely online, want to help themselves when they have a problem, and have large social networks to complain to when they can’t. So how can retailers, product companies and support organizations meet this growing demand for this new brand of complex customer service?
We all know that companies have realized that they can better market to potential buyers if they can find them and target offers to them. That’s why Marketing software is a $20B market today. So that’s great – it brings a bit of the personalization to the online buying experience – if the systems get to know me, it’s not that different than a salesperson asking me a few questions before recommending a product for me. Netflix has been trying out its “Max” recommendation engine on PS3 devices for a few years to help with this, and we all know the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought…” section on Amazon.
But what about servicing them after that sale so that they will come back? Retailers don’t do it well at all. Not even Apple, which has been held up as the crown jewel of in-store experiences, has come close to that experience online – in fact, their solve for that is to get you an appointment BACK at the store, because they feel more comfortable with that model than providing good digital service, even if that’s what most of us want.
Product companies aren’t good at it either. They put manuals in the box that are out-of-date even before the products leave the factory, they write up generic FAQs about “common problems” and stick them on their Web sites, and they ignore the simple fact that my first time using their product will be different from the problem I might experience three or six months down the road.
The fact is, specialty retailers and product companies have the same problem: “Once a customer decides to buy from me, I have to take care of them. How do I do this in a way that maximizes the likelihood that they will recommend and buy from me again?” Knowing what works and doesn’t work as customer interactions move between the buying process – physical or digital – and the many customer service instances of your brand is crucial for building advocacy and loyalty and has a direct impact on profitability. Without a focus on service, your customer’s journey with you will be short.
So that’s why we’re here to help, with three new industry solutions aimed at these challenges. Our goal is to provide you with the glue that creates a unified, consistent service experience across channels as your brand embarks on that journey alongside your customers. Check out our new Solutions section on the Web site, and request a demo today.