The retail industry is one of the most competitive in all of the business world. This niche is so large and complex, and the competition so fierce, that every advantage over your competition can make all the difference. And because retail deals with the end consumer, communication is one of those rare things that can literally make or break a business. This is especially true in the age of social media, where each platform has its own peculiarities, opportunities and challenges. Owning online communication is increasingly becoming a survival trait.
Yes, this article is about optimizing and maximizing the communication game for the retail industry using what is called a cloud contact center platform or solution. Most often when people in the retail industry hear the phrase contact center platform they automatically think of one thing, and only one thing: customer service. However, I believe that customer service is only one of the advantages, and I dare say not even the most important.
What is a contact center platform?
But before we delve deeper into the benefits of using such a tool in retail, let’s quickly define what exactly we mean when we talk about cloud contact center platform. Well, the easy part is that the name is pretty self-explanatory – this is cloud-hosted software that includes all the functionality of a physical contact center, without the need for all the hardware paraphernalia and that is easily accessible by agents and supervisors around the world.
Contact center platforms can be extremely versatile. That’s why it’s good to know what features to look for if you want to deploy such a platform for your retail business. Here are some key features for retail:
- Omnichannel: the ability to run synchronized operations and campaigns across multiple communication channels, be it incoming, outgoing or mixed calls.
- PCI Compliant: The payment card industry data security standard is required for all businesses that handle payment processing remotely. Your agents will be able to process credit card payments in a compliant and secure manner over the phone or other communication channels.
- Scalable: The importance of using a scalable contact center solution that can scale with your business is critical for businesses facing heavy seasonal activity. It’s important that your contact center software can use more resources in times of high traffic and pull those resources out to save money when the business is less busy.
- CRM integration: Be able to extract information directly from the CRM and display it on the agent’s dashboard as soon as the customer initiates a conversation. This feature provides real-time access to key elements such as order history, past interactions, discount eligibility, active warranties, etc.
Inbound applications for retail
Each interaction initiated by one of your customers is considered an incoming call or message. Of course, this is usually handled by customer service. One of the biggest advantages of using a contact center platform is that all of these inbound interactions can be centralized into a single dashboard that can pull information from your CRM, which the customer has initiated. chat by phone, email or using one of the popular messages. apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, etc. The agent never leaves the main dashboard and can make updates on each client with provisions that are sent in real time to the CRM database.
Also, advanced contact center solutions like NobelBiz OMNI + will come with solid integrated IVR automation and a host of other productivity options that can save time and provide a more streamlined customer journey.
Outbound applications for retail
As I mentioned at the start of this article, many people don’t see past customer service when they think of a contact center platform. However, a strong contact center platform can be a game-changer for other departments in your retail business, such as the marketing and sales teams.
On the one hand, the marketing department can design complex and highly targeted remarketing, cross-selling, upselling or special offers campaigns, using detailed customer history coupled with the ability to send DMs through the preferred communication channel of the customer.
On the other hand, the sales team can also create unique segmentations and initiate individual conversations based on customer information and preferences to make direct sales or generate leads. For large customer databases, if your contact center platform is equipped with an auto-dial solution, your sales team can save time, effort, and money while generating excellent results. results.
Final thoughts: the road to a good CX
A complete contact center platform isn’t just about providing top-notch customer support and superior communication for departments like marketing or sales. In fact, this is just the tip of the iceberg. In my opinion, the real value of deploying such a solution is the possibility of creating a personalized Customer Experience, in line with your brand’s vision.
89% of consumers have switched to doing business with a competitor as a result of a bad customer experience. – Harris interactive
Put simply, good CX means 1. that everything is consistent across all communication channels, from messages, tone of voice, automated responses, personalized offers, etc. and 2. that the entire customer journey, from review to purchase and beyond (customer service or other post-purchase inquiries) is simple and highly intuitive, with no message conflicts or other issues.
And yes, the truth is, deploying a contact center platform will make it much easier to control all aspects of the customer experience. And the benefits of having a strong CX in the retail industry go far beyond an improved LTV (Customer Lifetime Value), increasing the likelihood of more future purchases, customer retention. , etc.
Interesting Related Article: “The Dying Art of Customer Service”