A Good Customer Service Strategy Is For Life, Not Just For Christmas
Customer Service Strategy
Neldi RautenbachThursday 7th April 2016
Microsoft’s 2014 State of Multichannel Customer Service Survey, has revealed that getting customer issues resolved quickly, is the number one ranked aspect of a satisfying customer’s service experience – and the key to delivering great customer service is knowledge. With Halloween and bonfire night over and only 7 weeks until Christmas, retailers will be put under more and more pressure as the day approaches. And we Britons - a recent study by retail giant, John Lewis revealed - expect to search, shop and self-serve online over channels of our choice, with online shopping habits having increased by 30% between midnight and 6am.
As the ‘24/7 connected’ customers we are more informed and more empowered in real-time expecting not only to shop online any time, but to self-serve and connect to businesses through channels of our choice. As customers we expect the same level of customer service during a busy period, as we would during a quieter one. This can have a massive impact on the perception of a brand. Being prepared for sudden increases in traffic to your store or other customer channels – whether planned or as a result of an unexpected event – will be paramount to the success of an organisation. So investing in a good customer service strategy can be the competitive advantage.
Retailers need to arm their in-store staff and also deal with the overnight onslaught of customers eagerly wanting instant answers to questions on a range of gadgets and gizmo. And they need to have plan in place with more pressure on contact centre agents, having to deal with an influx of enquiries via phone, web chat, e-mail and social media channels. Shockingly some retailers were caught off-guard with shoppers holding off until the last minute still expecting to have good customer experiences. A recent survey by The Logic Group mapped over 1000 UK consumers shopping behaviours over the 2013 Christmas period.
10% of shoppers only shop in the last week before Christmas – mostly the Baby Boomer generation.
However millennials (aged 16-24) claimed to do the majority of gift buying in or before November.
Many over 55s adopted ‘shopping ninja’ characteristics which included having the least amount of patience in shopping queues.
Conversely, those aged 25-34 were ready to wait almost double the time of their older counterparts in a queue, spent the most amount of time online shopping (on average 6 hours and 19 minutes) and 22.2% used their mobile devices to shop.
Known as a ‘bricks and clicks’, a multichannel strategy proved a winning combination allowing consumers to browse and buy and self-serve, using the most convenient channel for them - providing customer with convenience- right up to the last minute dash.
These stark differences in generational attitudes to shopping highlight the importance for retailers to truly understand their customer interactions, and appeal to the evolving shopping behaviours.
Not just for Christmas:
In order to retain customers, reduce costs and increase sales, having the right technology in place to ensure the customer receives a consistent customer experience is vital. Christmas provides an opportunity for retailers to build consumer loyalty and trust if managed correctly. Why not download our free Best Practice Guide to Multi-channel Customer Service Our guide will help you to:
Understand the challenges delivering effective online service creates
Get an overview of the tools available to meet those challenges
Discover the must-haves you need for effective implementation