Omni channel revolves around your customers

Industry Insight

Many retailers are devoting all their time and resources into aligning and integrating sales channels, that some forget the focal point of omni channel retailing – the customer. It doesn’t matter how synchronized product data is across channels if the customer doesn’t get an immersive and superior customer experience regardless of the touch point. The shopping experience must be optimized for a personalized “buy anywhere, service anywhere, fulfill anywhere” experience today’s customers expect.

Make no doubt about it, poor customer service can lead to lost sales while also creating a poor reputation through negative reviews. With so many customers relying on product and brand research before purchasing, most retailers rely on past customers to help them win a sale. However, retailers can prevent much of this blowback by simply improving their ability to offer customer service through a number of different channels.

For example, Multichannel Merchant contributor Stijn Hendrikse cited research from Harris Interactive that found the majority of customers (79 percent) only shared their complaints with others once they felt the issue was being ignored. Whether retailers actually ignore buyers or have inefficient customer service processes that leads to delays, it’s clear that merchants can actually prevent many complaints by simply being quicker to offer a satisfactory solution to inquiries.

Arming customer service agents with the tools they need

There are numerous actions retailers can take to improve customer service, from adding more lines of communication to training agents on their customer service skills. However, one of the first things to look at is the information available to customer service agents.

“79 percent of customers only shared their complaints with others once they felt the issue was being ignored.”

With many merchants looking to implement omni channel strategies, it is more difficult than ever to meaningfully track customer orders. Someone who bought goods online may want to return an item in-store, or they may call a merchant to see if their order has been processed yet. If this information isn’t readily available to customer service agents, it will be difficult for them to provide a meaningful resolution to cases at first contact.

Retailers want to avoid looking like they are ignoring customers or simply passing them from department to department while they struggle to come up with an answer. Sending information about orders to a central location, regardless of the channel of origin, can be a significant step forward for retailers.

Omni channel management software, such as SalesWarp, can centralize all product, order, inventory, and customer data so every department in a retailer’s business has access to one set of data, providing consistency and transparency that will translate to better customer service.