5 Ways Retailers Can Attract (and Keep) Customers
The heartbeat of any retail organization is its customers. One bad experience and a customer may be gone for good. According to a recent survey from Zendesk, 79 percent of high-income households state they would avoid a business longer than two years after a bad experience. For many retail executives, two years can feel like a lifetime of quarterly reporting as well as monthly and daily meetings to discuss where they are against plan. Today's customers expect to be treated in a certain way, no matter where or how they shop. If your approach to customer engagement isn't up to par, they'll take their business elsewhere and your ability to meet plan becomes harder.
Marketing and customer service teams are typically at the forefront of managing customer engagement, but the relationship goes much deeper than that within a retail organization. These five "critical connections" show how teams such as call centers, shipping and fulfillment, and operations can have a significant impact on customer satisfaction and avoid losing valuable customers which are critical to fueling the business:
1. Omnichannel data: Whether you have brick-and-mortar stores, there's still an omnichannel component to your business with call centers and returns. Understanding how and when customers are interacting with your brand across these channels may help solidify your relationship with them. Did a customer buy online, but pick up an item in-store? Search online and buy in-store 30 days later? Are you offering the customer omnichannel options that fall in line with your competition? Customer choice and convenience is now considered the norm for every retailer. Now is the time to make sure you can connect the dots between channels to see where customers are engaging.
2. Delivery on promise: Retailers who don't deliver on the date they committed to a customer can experience a significant wake of negative customer sentiment, killing any chance of customer loyalty and repeat visits. The relationship between repeat purchase and missed shipping promise is often underestimated. Based on a recent survey of 165 retailers, more than 46 percent said they had average or below visibility into their shipping efforts, and more than 57 percent had average to no visibility of their returns. If customers receive incorrect items, partial orders or delayed deliveries, customer satisfaction and engagement is likely to be impacted. Tracing an order from transaction to delivery is crucial to maintaining that customer relationship.