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It’s that time of year again! Shoppers are gearing up for the holiday season. Are you doing the same? If not, you need to act fast: retailers of all kinds are sure to experience a major influx of customers and orders in the coming months. These customers will expect convenient and effective service—or they may take their business elsewhere.
To maintain your reputation and keep customers satisfied, it is crucial to provide them with a fast, seamless experience. OutPLEX has the skills to make the upcoming holiday season a successful one for your business. Here are just a few of the ways we can help you right away.
Leading up to and immediately following the holidays, you will have more customers than ever clamoring for information and assistance. To accommodate them, make sure that they can reach you through multiple channels, such as:
- SMS text messaging
- Messaging apps & automated messaging bots
- Social media direct messaging
These channels can provide numerous benefits to both you and your customers, including:
- Safe, remote communication options that empower customers to shop from home rather than having to go out during a pandemic
- Immediate assistance that the customer can access at all times of the day no matter where they are
- Accurate information through channels that the customer is already comfortable with and knows how to use
- A reduction in your business’s expenses stemming from a reduced need for a more costly call center
If you have never used digital channels before, OutPLEX would be happy to help you select the right ones for your brand and get them up and running in time for the holidays. If you already have these channels set up, we can review their performance and make any necessary changes to your current strategy.
Using digital channels is one thing; using them efficiently is another. To get the most out of each channel, you can take the following steps.
Integrate All Channels
Whether a customer seeks help via text messaging, automated chatbots, or phone, they must be able to rely on you for consistent, accurate information. In short, your channels must:
- Present similar messages so that the information from one channel does not contradict information from another
- Work with each other—for example, if one channel cannot solve a customer’s problem, it should immediately direct the customer to another channel
- Be intuitive to use, requiring the customer to do nothing more than what they already do in their everyday lives
Research shows that customers do not like to be bombarded with generic marketing messages. However, many customers expressed an interest in receiving messages tailored to their interests and buying history.
To ensure that each customer gets the most out of your brand experience, you can:
- Only send marketing messages based on market research or the customer’s past purchases and other relevant history
- Give customers the chance to opt out of marketing messages
- Ask each customer what their preferred channel is and communicate with them that way
Reduce Wait Times
Providing customers with fast service is never more important than during the holiday rush. Your business can expedite customer service by using digital channels to:
- Provide instant answers to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Shorten the “line” at your call center, allowing all customers to get help sooner, no matter which channel they use
- Routinely monitor your digital channels to make sure they are operating properly and to identify areas for improvement quickly
“Accountability” is sometimes perceived as having a negative connotation, but we do not see it that way. It is critical to know who is responsible for every aspect of your customer service strategy, especially during the hectic holiday season. You do not want to be stuck not knowing who to contact if an issue or problem arises!
Some good ways to establish accountability in your business include:
- Contracting with an omni-channel vendor who can handle all of your communication needs, reducing the number of partners and other contacts you must manage
- Ensuring that the vendor contract includes specific goals and key performance indicators, designates tasks to particular individuals, and so on
- Establishing methods for identifying and resolving problems early on, before they can substantially affect your customer experience
- Contracting with a vendor with outcome/performance-based pricing (OutPLEX does!)
Start Your Holiday Prep Work Today
During the holidays, everything seems bigger, faster, and better. Your customer service should be, too! It is critical this holiday season that you contract with a partner who is capable and trustworthy of operationalizing at scale. Call OutPLEX now to learn more about how our solutions can work for you. We have over 20 years in the industry servicing Fortune 1000 brands. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can get to work assessing your current capabilities and finding the right solutions for your needs and your budget.
To learn more about how we support the retail industry, visit our Industries Page: Retail