Why Promotion Support Automation is the Next Leap Forward for Your CX
2020 was a decisive and divisive year for retailers. Those that had already embraced or were quick to embrace e-commerce were able to capitalize on the accelerated shift toward digital spurred by the pandemic and leverage its infrastructure competitors. Those that were slower off the mark are either still playing catch-up or have shuttered entirely.
With e-commerce now the dominant retail battleground, primarily physical retailers are seeking any edge possible over pure e-commerce competitors that have been playing in this sandbox and perfecting their strategy for longer. As consumers narrow the scope of their shopping to those retailers that have responded to shifts brought about by the pandemic, such as offering contactless payments and curbside pickup options, it’s only natural that augmenting to meet evolving customer expectations is a top priority for competitive differentiation.
Many retailers are turning to automation to provide scalable, cost-effective and high-quality customer experience (CX) to shoppers as they interact and engage across the channels of their choice. While post-purchase is often the first point when retailers focus their automation efforts, with cautious shoppers doing more pre-purchase research online than ever before, delivering a best-in-class, conversion-focused pre-purchase CX is vital. This means the ability to immediately answer detailed product and promotion questions across channels. In fact, alongside WISMO (Where Is My Order?) and return assistance, real-time promotion support is one of the most common customer inquiries and resolution requirements. However, it's one that most brands have yet to solve via automation. In 2021, look for that to change.
Promotion support automation allow a customer to ask questions about a specific promotion and to receive accurate, actionable information about it via artificial intelligence-powered chat in their channel of choice. Instead of, for example, adding items to their cart and inputting a promotion code only to be frustrated by an error message saying it isn’t valid, they’re able to gain understanding about the issue and take action to resolve it in real time. Promotion support automation allows consumers to get real-time answers to important questions such as:
- When will the offer expire?
- Can this coupon be applied in-store?
- Can this promotion be applied with other offers?
- Can this offer be used on sale items?
- Why won't this promotion work on this product?
Resolving user promotion inquiries as they happen reduces frustration, increases customer satisfaction, and ensures consumers get the value they expect — all without the need to involve a live support agent. In turn, this digital worker frees up agents who would otherwise be assisting consumers with more complex inquiries, as well as allows for a faster, more seamless process for shoppers to find the answer they need and complete their intended purchase.
Across all industries, the cart abandonment rate is almost 70 percent, which means the majority of online shoppers are jumping ship somewhere along the purchase path. This is likely due to some part of the buying experience failing to meet their expectations. Promotion support automation removes one of these barriers to buying at a critical point in the purchase process, when consumers are demonstrating high buying intent. At this point they can also be easily dissuaded from completing the checkout process by confusing or unclear promotion information and the lack of a real-time option for addressing their questions. It saves sales that would otherwise be lost.
There's no “set it and forget it” option when it comes to high-quality CX. As customer preferences and technologies change (sometimes in tandem, sometimes not), your CX approach needs to flex, scale and adapt with them. It must be a site of continual refinement and improvement. Adding promotion support automation to your CX strategy in 2021 provides yet another powerful tool to delight customers and stave off competitors.
Durk Stelter is the chief revenue officer of Linc Global, a CX automation platform delivering pre-built, world-class customer experiences at scale.
Related story: The Key Trends Reshaping CX in a Post-COVID Era