Consumer expectations have changed dramatically in recent years. While basics like the quality of service, product, and pricing were always essential, customers today use much broader benchmarks to measure their overall shopping experience. They now demand an ‘Amazon experience’ every time they shop, impacting all retailers, brick and mortar and online. And with customer spending in decline and a possible recession looming, meeting these new standards is more important than ever.
Customer experience is far more complex nowadays. It is a mix of in-person and digital touchpoints. With this in mind, customers expect a fluid, connected experience. These expectations have given rise to omnichannel retailing powered by technology for a better customer experience, where shoppers can move between the different touch points or channels but still enjoy a unified experience.
But is your customer experience and the technology driving it up to scratch? Here are five key ways to utilize technology to create loyal customers and brand advocates.
1.Ensure a Connected Customer Experience
Customers expect all their interactions with a retailer to tie smoothly together during the buyer journey. However, using multiple, disconnected, siloed solutions during the fulfillment process will mean the various departments within your retail operation will have partial visibility of each customer engagement. These different IT systems, from delivery management to customer engagements, etc., need to be integrated.
The key to ensuring a seamless customer experience is using one platform to give complete visibility of each customer engagement across departments. Visibility will allow your sales, customer service, delivery, and marketing teams to have a transparent view of customer engagements from pre-purchase sales chat through post-purchase customer care, fulfillment operations, marketing, and sales workflows.
Centralizing all the data you have about each of your customers means that every interaction they have with you will feel natural – because it’s with someone who knows them. The result will be customers who feel seen and cared for.
2. Use the Personal Touch in Your Customer Communications
Consumers today want a personalized, seamless, omnichannel experience. Retailers whose solution allows them to use AI-data tagging and tracking will be several steps ahead of the competition by enabling their customer messaging to be highly personalized and tailored.
Each personalized sku-level communication, specific to each customer and their order, will help create a VIP delivery experience and establish a deeper emotional connection. And these highly personalized and context-related interactions with your customers, using the perfect mix of human reps or AI-powered chatbots, are what will turn customer experiences into glowing reviews.
3. Ensure Your Customers are Constantly Connected
If you still use one-way push notifications to alert your customers, you need a wake-up call. The game and consumers have changed. Customers want a voice in the process. When they receive messages, they cannot respond and become frustrated, leading to a poor customer experience and higher levels of failed deliveries.
Using AI-powered two-way messaging, fully integrated with your logistics, will result in happier customers, higher delivery confirmation rates, and fewer failed deliveries. More engaged customers who know you will respond to their needs during the fulfillment process will quickly become brand advocates and repeat buyers.
4. Make Post-Delivery a Marketing and Sales Opportunity
Many retailers believe that the transaction is completed once a delivery has been performed. Okay, they may send a generic email asking for a review, but they know response rates will be low, and, in general, this is a half-hearted effort.
Retailers must treat the fulfillment process as a marketing and sales opportunity rather than simply as a cost center and use AI-powered automated customer engagement technology to transform their post-delivery communications. This allows them to trigger automated upsell campaigns based on customer history, product SKU and, importantly, post-purchase customer feedback to drive sales.
With customer reviews now a powerful marketing tool, automated upsell and campaign management technology will also significantly increase the percentage of happy customers that post positive online reviews.
5. Deliver a Truly Omnichannel Experience
Current solutions widely used in the retail furniture industry must deliver an authentic omnichannel experience. The standard delivery management software, for example, cannot ensure your customer is placed at the center of the fulfillment process, where all departments have a line of sight of every customer interaction and each other’s activities.
Embracing AI and automation will centralize and connect each element of the fulfillment process to customer services, sales, delivery, and marketing. The result will be complete coordination, a seamless, engaged, and rewarding customer experience, and a steady flow of repeat sales.
Is it Time You Made the Switch?
With standards being reshaped in the retail furniture industry, many IT solutions that manage fulfillment and customer interactions need to be more purposeful. Retailers need to ensure they have a solution in place that allows them to meet these changing standards.
Retailers like TDG have turned to Package.ai’s conversational AI, workflow automation, and last-mile intelligence to transform their fulfillment into a customer-centric experience. This allows them to effectively form meaningful relationships with their customers, redefine loyalty and drive more sales by delivering exceptional customer experiences.
Retailers that switch to AI and automation will quickly start saving on operational costs while creating loyal customers and brand advocates. In today’s tricky retail environment, you need to create loyal customers for business success.