The Importance of the Phone in Omnichannel Retailing
The age of digital retailing still presents a number of challenges for businesses, and especially for customer service teams. Greater insight into online behavior means we can understand our customers’ needs in depth — plus, we can track and engage with them in real time — but what about the human touch? It's a mistake to assume all customer interactions only happen online.
The Value of the Voice
Consumers may do most pre-purchase research based on their own initiative, but the contact center is still an essential part of the purchasing journey. As a recent study from ResponseTap has shown, 70 percent of U.K. consumers and 74 percent of U.S. consumers like to speak to an agent in a contact center before making a purchase because it gives them confidence that they're getting exactly what they want.
These findings support the notion that the human voice offers a vital element in constructing brand identity, as well as developing a bond of loyalty between a business and its customers.
Even in this hyperconnected online world, having a solid customer service team on hand to guide website users through a purchase is a business imperative. But how can an online retailer ensure that its brand promise doesn't fall down as soon as a customer goes to pick up the phone?
Integrating Voice With Omnichannel Retailing
Whereas multichannel retailing was about offering many different routes to purchase, omnichannel is about connecting these different routes to create a single purchasing funnel across devices. Each channel, whether it be desktop, smartphone, tablet or phone, picks up from where the last one left off.
Consumers will do most pre-purchase research on their own. According to MIT's Beyond the Checkout Cart report, up to 80 percent of store shoppers check prices online. However, although it's important to leave customers to their own devices when it comes to research, voice is still a vital activation to purchase. Since the majority of consumers like to speak to real person before purchasing, brands need to ensure they are on hand to give that final sales push on the phone.