2020 has been a disastrous year for retailers, placing many brands and thousands of jobs at risk. Even though non-essential shops have been gradually reopening, and online shopping promises to remain popular following the global pandemic, the crisis is far from over. As brands face difficult times ahead, customer loyalty will determine which brands pull through. Only by delivering consistent customer experiences across all channels can brands hope to effectively engage customers and revive business.
With disparate online and offline environments, not only will you lose valuable opportunities to engage with your customers, but you will be unable to deliver the same experience online as you would in-store. This will ultimately cost you business, which is something that in the current financial climate, you cannot afford to do.
But what is the most effective way to deliver exceptional service to all your customers, both online and in-store?
The power of omni-channel
The best way to engage with customers at scale is through an omni-channel approach. All channels, both online and offline, are integrated with one another, creating a single, seamless retail experience. This way, customers are able to contact you, and make a purchase at the time and place of their choosing. With the right omni-channel solution, agents can service multiple queries at once through a single blended queue, increasing the speed of service for customers.
Not all customers engage with your brand in the same way, so it’s vital to engage with customers wherever possible and via their channel of choice, in order to deliver great customer experience.
Seamless and speedy customer experience
A truly omni-channel contact center is not only integrated across channels, but all systems, from external databases to internal CRM systems. Integrations rapidly increase the efficiency of agent workflow, allowing your brand to deliver a quick customer service. This is crucial, especially now that demand, both online and instore, is at an all-time high. Providing your workforce with a unified system that is accessible through a single point, is therefore essential to delivering fast resolutions. This will transform customer opinion of your organization, and drive brand loyalty.
A unified CRM database with omni-channel capabilities also allows your organization to track the virtual and physical touchpoints that a customer has with your brand, and build a 360 degree view of the customer. This data is invaluable, and has the potential to transform the way in which your business engages with customers, and how your customers experience your brand. Customer insights, when used correctly, allow you to personalize encounters and establish opportunistic communications with customers.
Always-on with AI
Keep up with the high demand across online channels by utilizing the latest technological innovations. Automation techniques in particular will improve the speed of service and offer proactive customer engagement. Through intelligent technologies such as chatbots, your brand can provide an ‘always-on’ service to customers through any online channel, allowing customers to access information around the clock.
 McKinsey & Company, Consumer sentiment and behavior continue to reflect the uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis