CTO Red Ant
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Essential tips for elevating CX at a distance

29th Jul 2020
CTO Red Ant
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Customers are looking for the best way to shop safely on their own terms, and retailers are having to work harder than ever to maintain a level of experience that not only makes them feel special but also secures the sale. It takes more than an online video or Zoom meeting to establish the kind of connection that leads to a purchase. So how can retailers deliver a personalised experience without necessarily being in the same room? Here are the essential tips for evolving the one-to-one shopping experience to a new level:

Offer full virtual services including in-consultation shopping

Research into shopper behaviour in the beauty and home and furniture sectors has revealed that customers want a one-to-one experience with someone who knows both them and their product range – 75% and 70% respectively said they wanted options for having a consultation in-store or virtually. Engage those customers by offering:

  • virtual clienteling and appointments with remote payments so store associates can connect with customers wherever they feel comfortable
  • integrated video consultations with messaging and communications so customers can still enjoy a full range of services tailored to their profile
  • real-time virtual product consultations and basket creation for a socially distanced yet personalised shopping experience, giving store associates and customers peace of mind in-store
  • remote payment via SMS link to allow safe payment both in-store and at home

Activate remote sales

Making sure customers feel looked after, including those who take advantage of personal shopping and concierge services, depends on being able to meet their needs when a high-contact service isn’t available. Remote sales allow retailers to continue to curate their customers’ experience at a distance:

  • they allow personal stylists/concierges to create orders for customers and take payment, without having to meet in person
  • customers can request items for purchase via their personal stylist/concierge, who then confirm stock availability, create an order and send them a payment link so that they can pay quickly and easily via mobile
  • the stylist/concierge can prepare and ship the order once they have payment confirmation

Give store associates the tools to skill up

Delivering this kind of customer experience relies on having knowledgeable store associates, advisors and consultants with the ability to access everything anywhere, from customer profiles to product information. The way stores operate in the future will rely on a skilled, engaged workforce that trusts employers to take care of them – equipping them with the right tools will ensure that this is the case:

  • give them access to your full product catalogue, including online options. This allows them to show customers your entire range, including any style, size and colour combination as well as customer profiles, wishlists and preferences for a personalised shopping experience whether they’re in-store or having a virtual consultation
  • allow store associates to have secure device access, including BYOD, so that they can work remotely whenever necessary

The evidence so far suggests that customers will slowly but surely return to regular shopping patterns as risks lessen and retailers prove that they can offer safe experiences. But one thing is clear – retailers who are unable to evolve their experience to offer remote services and virtual clienteling will be failing those customers who have made permanent shifts in their attitudes to how they want to browse and buy.

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