In retail, customer service is one of the most critical parts of the purchasing experience. Discover several methods for improving customer service in retail, including by using a call center.
What Is Customer Service?
Customer service is the support you offer your customers before and after buying and using your products or services. Customer service aims to help improve the customer experience and ensure they have an easy and enjoyable time with your brand.
Quality customer service is valuable at every part of the customer’s journey. It serves as a way for your brand to help customers discover, use, optimize, and troubleshoot your products or services.
Why Is Improving Customer Service in Retail So Important?
The traditional view of customer service is a help desk that manages customer complaints, but customer service is so much more than that. Here’s how customer service improves your brand.
1) Customer Retention and Brand Loyalty
Excellent customer service encourages satisfied customers, and satisfied customers are likely to become loyal. This means customers who are happy with your brand and the service you provide them may well return and spend more money.
The customer lifetime value (CLV), or the total revenue gained from a single consumer, is much higher for a satisfied customer. Quality customer service can make the difference.
2) Brand Image and Representation
Your brand and company image is almost as important as the product or services you provide. You may offer an excellent product, but if you have abysmal or no customer service, it will quickly turn away customers.
Quality customer service can help your customers see your brand in a better light and help establish a corporate persona.
3) Customer Referrals
Customer referrals make the best customer acquisition model—but it’s easier said than done. This model is notoriously difficult because customers will only recommend a product, service, or brand to their friends and family if they are truly satisfied. That’s a very high bar to reach, but once met, customer referrals often result in increased conversion and retention rates compared to other customer acquisition solutions.
Excellent customer service throughout the entire customer journey is a great way to earn customer referrals. When customers have an abnormally great experience, they are more likely to talk about it and lead their friends and family to your brand.
4) Competitive Market Advantage
In some industries, the best product or service will rise to the top and be seen by customers, but this isn’t always the case in retail. Retail is highly competitive and saturated—it’s easy to get lost in the crowd and overlooked by consumers.
Having a top-end customer service solution helps you stand out from the rest of the crowd and bring in more customers.
5) Reduced Employee Turnover
Customer satisfaction doesn’t just affect customer retention—it also impacts employee retention. Employees want to work for a business that appreciates and values its customers.
When employees see customers being valued and cared for, they become more engaged in their work and are more willing to stick with the company through challenges and economic changes.
How Can You Improve Customer Service in Retail?
Improving customer service in retail isn’t as easy as just adding one solution. It requires a company-wide commitment to enhancing the customer experience. Here are a few ways you can start to improve customer service.
1) Provide Consistent Omnichannel Support
Ditch multichannel support and aim for omnichannel support instead. Multichannel support is the low bar of customer service. It allows customers to call, text, email, or message your company and reach some form of customer support.
However, multichannel support is not integrated. So if a customer transitions from one channel to another, like email to a phone call, there’s no record of what happened during their email conversations.
Omnichannel support integrates all channels and provides a unified voice, style, and standard for customer care no matter which channel a customer uses. Every channel is tracked, allowing every member of your customer support team to know the customer’s history and any questions or needs they may have.
This provides a personalized customer support experience and helps customers feel recognized and important to your brand.
2) Exercise Proactive Customer Support
Don’t wait for your customers to tell you about an issue. Actively monitor the customer experience and try to identify and resolve problems before customers experience them.
This helps improve the quality of your products and services and helps the customer know you only want the best for them.
3) Practice Customer Support Internally
Improve your customer support by first practicing with your internal structure. You can teach your employees how to manage customers by giving them the time to practice with each other.
What if every team and department at work received the same treatment as customers? Do your best to treat everyone from IT to accounting the way you want your customers to be treated.
This form of internal practice benefits your customer-facing support in two ways:
- It gives your company a safe place to learn and try out ideas.
- It improves employee satisfaction and retention.
4) Offer Meaningful Training
Not everyone is a natural when it comes to customer service, but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn how to be excellent at it. Meaningful, consistent, and quality training helps ensure everyone on your team has the skills and knowledge they need to provide the quality of service you expect.
Training also helps provide a consistent level of care. That way, whether your customer gets Carrie (a customer service veteran who has years of experience) or Brandon (an inexperienced member of your team), they still receive the same customer experience.
5) Trust Your Employees
Your employees are on the front lines and understand what they need to provide excellent service. Rather than setting unrealistic deadlines, timetables, and KPIs for them to reach, listen to them and empower them to provide unparalleled service.
Improve Customer Service in Retail by Hiring a Call Center
While it’s always possible to manage the customer experience internally, a call center brings certain strengths and benefits that are just not feasible for most companies to manage themselves. Call centers improve customer service in retail through availability, quality control, brand management, and having the tools to deal with difficult customers.
A call center has a large staff and can provide a customer service solution around the clock. For your customers, that means they can receive the same quality customer support whenever they call, with little or no wait time.
The call center handles training and quality control. The agency will make sure each agent has the training they need to accurately represent your brand in every situation.
You don’t have to worry about having conflicting styles or messages when you choose a call center. Because there is such a high level of standardization, each agent provides your customers with the same customer service you would provide them yourself. Call centers ensure your brand’s style and image persist in every interaction.
Handling Difficult Customers
No matter how great your product or customer service is, there will always be difficult customers. Call center employees have the training and tools they need to deal with even the most irate customers while still providing excellent customer care.
Improve Your Customer Service
Having the bare minimum for customer service won’t help your company stand out from the competition or help your customers get the help they need. The best, most fulfilling customer service has support solutions at every point in the customer’s journey, making it easy for customers to get what they are looking for when they need it the most.
Consider turning to ROI Call Center Solutions to solve your customer service needs. We offer around the clock call center services that will assist you in Improving customer service in retail. Get in touch to find out how we can help you.