How to blend human with digital in retail customer experience | Retail Voice

I have been fortunate to spend time with retail leaders at various times this year to understand the challenges they face and the opportunities these challenges present as they support their businesses to navigate through another year of disruption, change and pressure.

Take customer confidence as an example, which remains fragile at best, with confidence hitting an all-time low for four of the last five months through September 2022.

This is something that is continually referenced in my conversations with retail leaders. Concerns about inflation and the subsequent impact on the supply chain, product price, and ultimately consumer confidence are common, along with the ongoing issue of attracting and retaining employees.

Successful transformation is within reach

There are a number of different factors that contribute to a successful transformation program, including digital customer experience, in-store experience (if applicable), and online self-service, along with the channel strategy that supports the customer journey, all of which need to be considered in the larger context of balancing the human with the digital.

And in terms of time, thinking about transformation has rarely been more important.

In our research with CX leaders across multiple sectors, digital transformation was a common theme, with 92% saying they plan to transform their client’s operations within 12 months.

Our work with The Very Group to continually evolve its transformation program saw dramatic improvements in defense, loyalty, and income, and acts as a good example of what’s possible in a large-scale transformation project.

Flexibility is key

With 90% of CX leaders Believing that it is important to quickly flex and scale your operations in response to customer demand, the ability to quickly implement complementary human and digital customer service solutions is growing in importance.

The trigger here could be planned peak retail events like one-time sales, the holiday period, or Black Friday, or unplanned factors like increased contact from vulnerable customers, staff attrition, or recruiting challenges.

Use specialized customer experience solutions

Retailers have a real desire to focus on what they do best: selling their brand and products to their customers.

The growth of the digital customer has presented a challenge here; There is the explosion of data available and how to take advantage of this, increasing regulatory and security pressures, and managing often multiple digital and e-commerce platforms.

Innovative CX partners can help retailers use the a wealth of data available from front-line, real-time customer interactions and turn this into actionable insightswhile digital content services through a combination of dedicated content managers and artificial intelligence solutions can enable brands to serve the right products to the customer at the right time through their online platforms.

Whether taking the next step in their transformation journey, assisting with resourcing issues, or delivering game-changing analytics projects, there are many opportunities for retailers to improve their customer experience with a combination of digital and human solutions, despite the challenging outlook. through which we are all currently browsing.

Mark Guest is Managing Director for Retail at Webhelp UK.

He has a proven track record of leading, consulting and implementing successful customer experience transformation projects for clients in the retail sector and beyond.

Learn more about Webhelp and the innovative customer experience solutions we offer for the retail industry on our website

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