How to avoid becoming your competitor's secret weapon

Topic: Retail

We’ve come a long way since a telephone call or quick face-to-face chat were the go-to channel. There’s now much more to customer interaction – 68% of consumers prefer customer service interaction via digital messaging channels to any other method.

Think of the many ways that your customers currently interact with your brand… We’ve come a long way since a telephone call or face-to-face chat was the go-to channel.
There’s now much more to customer interaction – 68% of consumers prefer digital messaging channels to any other method for customer service (source: Internet Retailing), and that’s before we’ve thought about the end-to-end customer journey.  
Your customers come into contact with your brand through so many different touchpoints that it can often be difficult to determine how many separate “conversations” your products, staff and systems are all having concurrently.
If you have already mapped out and are managing such conversations, then you’re ahead of the curve, but you can’t rest on your laurels; one awkward interaction, slip-up or mishap could mean that those conversations come to a close very quickly.
A customer’s impression of your brand is about every interaction with each part of your company. From finance to marketing, sales to operations – customer service is a company-wide effort and improving it should be a collective goal.

Your customers won’t love you if you give them a bad customer service experience – but your competitors will.

If you haven’t already, or haven’t reviewed them for a while, it’s important to take an objective view of your interaction points. What is the customer trying to achieve; how frequently are they successful in achieving that goal; are there missed opportunities that digital channels of communication can open up to you?
While 71% of consumers still use voice as the main channel of engaging with a business (source: Telemedia), this doesn’t mean that they want to, or that this is the most accessible or personal means of communication; 32% find it the most frustrating customer service channel (source: The state of social customer service report).
Consider this: 45% of ex-customers would have continued purchasing from the business they left if a better mobile service experience were available (source: Accenture).
The growth in demand for mobile services is also illustrated by data from Salesforce, that the number of inbound customer service requests via mobile app is set to increase by 38% over the next 12 – 18 months. 
For many companies, the challenge lies not in recognising the value of mobile as a customer service channel, but in the agility and technical infrastructure required to deliver it. Our latest eBook picks up this challenge, exploring three easy-to-implement digital strategies that enable retailers to overcome the challenges of customer service. Take a look.

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