How CPaaS is Taking Retail to the Next Level This Holiday Season
Since the pandemic, consumers have become more accustomed to buying and shopping online, with a recent study finding that over 75 percent of people are doing so at least once a month. Primarily, people cite convenience as the main reason why they choose to continue to shop online. Nevertheless, purchasing a product online has become so convenient that customers expect (and demand) flexibility and rapid responses from retailers. Studies show that many people research online before purchasing products, the majority of which will convert online, with only 23 percent completing their holiday shopping in-store.
CPaaS: The Ideal Communication Tool for Retailers
Despite rising customer expectations, many retail businesses struggle to provide a consistent customer experience (CX) throughout their communications process because they have no consolidated CX strategy. Organizations that don’t leverage multichannel communications typically find it challenging to keep customers engaged and satisfied with their shopping experience, online or in-store. To adapt to the hybrid environment of modern day shopping, leading retail companies are using CPaaS, or communications Platform as a Service.
CPaaS is a solution that combines voice, SMS, automation, artificial intelligence, cloud-based call routing, and analytics. Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of a leading CPaaS solution is that it's flexible, scalable, and unifies all the latest integrated communications services into one offering and for a considerably more affordable price than each individually. Furthermore, most of the top CPaaS solutions don’t require the skill or knowledge of an expert coder to operate. It's customizable, allowing a retailer to target specific business needs, automate tasks and enhance workflows.
Optimizing CX With CPaaS
The communication challenges of the retail industry are numerous, from outbound marketing and managing premium programs to customer support and self-service. Successfully addressing these challenges is crucial to driving loyalty, creating repeat customers and, most importantly, fostering excellent CX. As an essential component to any retail business, CX is the art and science of how consumers respond to brand or product experiences, whether shopping, buying or interacting with an employee.
Data is foundational to exceptional CX, and most CPaaS solutions come with analytic features. By utilizing on-demand and actionable customer data (particularly during the holidays when statistics fluctuate), businesses can consistently refine customer journeys, decrease interaction friction, and make informed decisions when adjusting CX strategies.
Leading CPaaS solutions also include customer interaction tracking capabilities. Understating consumer behavior is the crux of CX; features that track location performance, call volume and historical trends enable retailers to ensure that their employees aren’t overwhelmed during the impending influxes of calls and inquires during the holidays. Plus, as people grow accustomed to interacting with businesses through different platforms, retailers must meet their customers where they're most comfortable. For example, 64 percent of consumers prefer to engage with companies via SMS instead of voice.
CPaaS is for Every Season
The holiday season is habitually the highest revenue-driving time for retailers. It is, therefore, no surprise that leading retailers use CPaaS to effectively create a winning multichannel strategy — one that encompasses e-commerce and physical stores. And as online shopping solidifies as commonplace in the minds and actions of consumers, retailers must prepare not only for the holidays, but for the future with a robust CPaaS solution.
Matt Edic is chief experience officer at IntelePeer, a provider of industry leading time-to-value with automated communications solutions that work seamlessly with existing business software and infrastructure.
Matt serves as the Chief Experience Officer. In this role, he and his team ensure the highest level of support in customer interactions.
Previously, Matt served as Senior Vice President, Customer Experience and Vice President, Enterprise Sales and Business Development for IntelePeer. Matt brings to IntelePeer more than 20 years of leadership experience and a strong passion for serving customers, continuous improvement, and teamwork. Prior to IntelePeer, Matt worked for NexTone, JP Morgan Chase & Co., and Qwest Communications. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.