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Messaging for Retail & E-Commerce: The Digital Customer Experience

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Retail

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What should your retail digital messaging look like, and how can it help you win over and satisfy customers? Your business should strive to make all your messaging systems as simple and accessible as possible and to utilize as many digital channels as you need to optimize your customers’ digital experience.

The digital customer experience is becoming an ever more critical part of customer service. OutPLEX can help you figure out which digital channels are most compatible with your company’s goals.

OutPLEX Offers Multiple Digital Channels

When a customer has an issue, they are more likely than ever to turn to the internet for an answer before they even consider calling the company. This “autonomous service,” as an executive quoted by Forbes describes it, is exemplified by Amazon.com, one of the world’s most successful retailers. Amazon encourages customers to find what they need online and to view calling in as a last resort. 

You do not have to be as large as Amazon to benefit from a similar strategy. Technology has advanced enough to make digital solutions like the following accessible to retail businesses of all sizes.

Digital Messaging

As the Conversocial State of CX Trends Report 2021 shows, customers are growing more and more comfortable with the idea of communicating with brands through digital messaging services. Businesses are responding by reaching out to customers on a variety of digital channels.

Which digital messaging channels are businesses focusing on most? The five most popular channels, as shown on the Conversocial report, are:

  • Google’s Business Messages
  • Facebook Messenger
  • WhatsApp Business
  • SMS texting
  • Instagram Messaging and Twitter Direct Messaging (tie)

To optimize your digital customer experience, you must meet the customers where they are. In other words, let your customers’ preferences dictate which digital channels you use rather than pushing them to use channels you already have or are most comfortable with.

If you already know which digital messaging channels will enable you to reach your goals, OutPLEX can help you implement your plan. If you are unsure of which channels may best serve your customers and your business, we are more than happy to research the situation for you.

Chatbot Automation

Equip your website with a chatbot feature that is easy to find and easy to use. Chatbots can:

  • Answer basic questions: Customers can find out about your business hours, locations, available products, and other simple information.
  • Learn from experience: The more customers interact with the chatbot, the more situations the chatbot can respond to and the more efficient it will become.
  • Direct customers to other channels: If a customer needs or prefers to solve their problem another way (e.g., through SMS texting), a chatbot can provide a direct link or phone number to that channel.
  • Provide instant, intuitive help: With an accessible chatbot, all your customer has to do is click a button and type in a key phrase.

Social Media Messaging

The Pew Research Center reports that social media usage has increased exponentially across all age groups. Today, 72% of all Americans use at least one social media website. This likely includes many of your customers.

OutPLEX can help you get the most out of your social media channels by:

  • Finding out which posts your customers respond to: Did customers respond well to a video you posted or a particular advertising campaign? We can figure out what types of posts your customers like so you can produce more of them.
  • Monitoring what your customers are saying: Are your customers raving about your products or complaining about a particular aspect of your customer service? Identifying consumer likes and dislikes will enable you to better fulfill their needs.
  • Identifying your customers’ preferred channels: Do you get better engagement on one social media site than another? Do your customers tend to engage more at certain times of the day? This information can help you optimize your social media usage.
  • Identifying trends: Is there a popular hashtag or internet challenge that you could incorporate into your content? We will monitor for such trends and make sure your company uses them in fun, creative, and relevant ways.

Can Digital Channels Really Replace Human Customer Service Agents?

In many cases, retail digital messaging can not only replace live agents, but it can also surpass them in terms of:

  • Speed: A bot can instantly respond to basic customer queries when the customer wants the information; no waiting required.
  • Availability: Digital messaging is not subject to normal business hours. If your customer wants information in the middle of the night or on a holiday, digital channels can give it to them.
  • Efficiency: While a phone agent can assist one customer at a time, a messaging agent can assist an average of three to five customers at once.

What types of issues can digital messaging handle? Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • Order confirmation and tracking: With a brief message exchange, customers can find out when their order shipped, when it is scheduled to arrive, and so on.
  • Information requests: If a customer is unsure of a product’s availability, store hours, or other basic information, a quick text or message can provide clarity.
  • Special deals or events: Keep track of what your customers are buying and alert them when you have sales or specials that might interest them.
  • Follow-ups: Make sure your customers are satisfied with their purchases and with how they were treated. If not, offer remedies.

These types of communications can be very useful to both your customer and your business. When customers receive convenient, caring service, they are more likely to stick with the company that gave them that experience.

In addition to the services we provide directly to your customers, OutPLEX offers a variety of behind-the-scenes services that can make your retail digital messaging more targeted and more efficient. These include:

  • 24/7 tech support: If your digital channels are not working as they should, we will act quickly to resolve the issue in a way that minimizes customer inconvenience.
  • Software development: We develop and program the software behind our digital solutions ourselves. This way, we can provide you with a customized system that fits your business’s goals and your customers’ needs.
  • Market research: You may have wonderfully innovative solutions in mind, but they will be of little help if they do not reflect your customers’ needs. Our customer insights allow you to craft specific plans and give customers exactly what they want.

Supplement Digital Channels with Traditional Channels

What happens if a customer cannot solve their problem through a digital channel? This does happen; while the digital customer experience has improved in recent years, there are still some problems that only a human can manage.

OutPLEX’s call centers are staffed with well-trained agents who can provide your business with:

  • Lower-cost services: Nearshoring is the practice of opening tech centers (including call centers) in nearby countries with lower operating costs. OutPLEX has call centers in the Dominican Republic and Colombia.
  • Flexibility: If a change in goals or circumstance requires you to change your agents’ methods or messaging, we will retrain those agents accordingly.
  • Agents who know the language: Not only do all of our agents speak English, they understand the language of your industry. They are thus better prepared to engage with customers in ways that promote your purpose and goals.
  • Agents who are available when customers need them: Unlike offshoring, where agents are located in far-flung locations with incompatible time zones, nearshoring places call centers in the same or similar time zones as your customers.

If you are ready to upgrade your digital customer experience, call OutPLEX for a free quote. We can help you design and implement the right plan for your business, whether you want to improve on your existing retail digital messaging or try it out for the first time.

Learn more about our Retail & e-Commerce CX solutions.