How Big Box Retailers Can Create a World-Class Experience in Retail

Not many businesses understand the adage that “good news travels fast and bad news travels faster.” In today’s digital and mobile era, any experience – good or bad – can travel globally in seconds.  For retail brands, the market is a high-stakes game of exceeding customers’ expectations.

Brands that impress their customers boost retention rates and drive their revenue higher. In fact, raising customer retention two percent can produce revenue equal to a ten percent cut in costs.

Stop making customers jump through hoops

High-touch customer service programs look beyond single touch points. They focus on the end-to-end experience. That means taking a holistic view of the customer journey. Why? Because just one negative contact can taint an otherwise positive experience.

So, how do you create a world class customer experience in retail? You need to embrace these key elements:

  • Deploy a flexible and scalable workforce. This ensures that customers have a good experience no matter when they interact with your brand. This is critical in the retail industry with its huge increase in traffic during the holidays. Top retailers raise their staffing by two to three times during this period.
  • Create a first-call resolution rate of 90%  or higher. Imagine a customer has a technical issue with their TV. They call the retailer they bought it from. The retailer suggests calling the manufacturer directly. The manufacturer points them back to the retailer and even the cable provider.

At this point, the customer returns the product out of frustration. Your bottom line suffers and your brand takes a hit to its reputation. You can avoid all of this just during the customer’s first call.

  • Implement behavior-based training: An expert workforce can get you close to a 90 percent first-call resolution rate. However, managing to a metric won’t get you beyond the goal. Breaking through requires teaching each agent the skills that “wow” customers. More important is instilling an outspoken boldness in your representatives. They need to feel rewarded for reporting broken tools, processes and policies. Fix what’s broken and you’ll drive beyond 90 percent.

Ensure customers only have good things to say

Your customers talk about your brand whether you see it or not. In fact, 87 percent of them will share positive interactions—and 95 percent will share their bad ones. In short, high-touch customer service retains and attracts new customers through word of mouth.

Making the investment in high-touch customer experience is a must. It’s vital than ever in today connected, digital world where one bad contact can go global.

Brian Cole is Senior Vice President of Retail at Alorica

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