The retail business has changed dramatically due to the advent of online services and the popularity of social media. New methods for contacting clients and introducing e-commerce have resulted in new hurdles for retail businesses (brick & mortar). While many retail businesses also offer online shopping facilities, minor problems continue to persist. Here we will discuss problems with core retail business & how contact centers can solve them effectively.
In-house retail contact centers must adapt rapidly to consumer expectations. Most consumers say that their interactions with customer service directly or indirectly influence their purchasing choices. If you want your retail contact center to be a productive element of your company, you must be aware of its challenges. Let's take a closer look at some of the most prevalent issues these departments confront and possible solutions.
1. Common Retail Customer Complaints
2. Why Should Retail Contact Center Problems Be a Top Priority?
3. Major Retail Contact Center Challenges and Solutions
With so many retail transactions occurring every day, both online and in-store, it's not unexpected that consumer complaints arise from time to time.
The following are five of the most common complaints:
Customers anticipate a particular degree of care and attention when they enter a retail location. Therefore, a dissatisfactory interaction with a shop staff may result in a complaint. In certain circumstances, a sales associate may have been impolite or short with them, or they may have been entirely disregarded by staff. Retailers that rely on technology for their online interfaces may get complaints about inept or ill-mannered workers on the phone or through chat.
False charges, pricing errors, and the inability to apply discounts, promotional codes, or consumer incentives are frequent billing difficulties that may cause consumers to be frustrated or inconvenienced. Billing issues are the most serious since they directly affect clients' money.
E-commerce has revolutionized the retail business with the increment of internet users. According to Statista, more than 2.14 billion individuals across the globe will make purchases online in 2022, and the figure is only expected to grow. Because of this, the number of customer complaints regarding retail contact center problems with their orders and deliveries will skyrocket. It's more probable to have a package delivered to the incorrect address if more people are making purchases online. Since changing online stores is as simple as typing in a new URL, addressing customer concerns quickly is more important than ever as online shopping continues to grow in popularity.
Refund concerns, which are closely related to billing issues, might irritate clients who are dissatisfied with their purchase. Retail firms might expect unhappy consumers if return rules are unclear or there are incorrect reimbursements. Customers who request refunds are more likely to be dissatisfied with the product or company.
Complaints about product quality might encompass either dissatisfaction with the quality of the goods themselves or worries about damage to the product during delivery. Customers are more inclined to complain to companies, their social circles, or online platforms such as Yelp or Quora and other social media.
Unfortunately, contact centers can create a negative reputation. This makes it harder to acquire (and keep) personnel and may cause consumers to view them negatively. Much of this image is incorrect, but part of it originates from everyday retail contact center problems. Customer happiness and staff satisfaction are two critical factors to consider:
How many times have you considered contacting a helpdesk only to think if you have the time to wait on hold and the desire to work with numerous departments to find a solution?
This may result in circumstances where clients are dissatisfied with a product or service but turn to Google rather than you. Instead of being pleased with their purchase, they will likely be disappointed and provide bad reviews.
This is exacerbated when a client does seek out but receives terrible customer service. They may be shuffled from agent to agent, have extra items up-sold to them while their problem is still unsolved, or be unable to get a clear response. They now have a problem not just with what they purchased but also with how they were handled. It's critical to address the retail contact center problems that contribute to these results; else, you'll end up with a negative reputation. Online reviews are becoming more significant, and having repeated complaints about your support staff in front of prospective consumers is not a good picture.
However, not all of the issues that contact centers face are caused by customers. The Contact Center Management Association (CCMA) reports that yearly workforce turnover is roughly 26%. Given that the national average is 15%, the position must be complicated.
Hiring and training new employees are costly, so overcoming some of the challenges we'll discuss here will help you save money on recruitment. Unhappy employees are unproductive. McKinsey & Company says those who feel invested in their jobs are less inclined to look for other opportunities. Because they have a greater sense of urgency in resolving customer issues, they are 3,300% more likely to be successful at work.
Typically, retail contact center issues are determined by the product's kind, shop size, pricing regulations, and target demographic. Now, let's focus on most businesses' fundamental general issues.
Responding to consumer inquiries is crucial to any retail contact center job description. And, since customers are used to receiving 24/7 services from e-commerce enterprises, they will demand the same consistency from your retail company.
However, this may be difficult for most retail firms since, unlike your shop, which has "working hours," your contact center must be open to clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And when you have agents working for you around the clock, your contact center’s operating expenses rise.
Set up, virtual agents! These agents can be deployed for voice and chat channels. They can also help your retail contact center in various ways. They may, for example:
Serve customers after agents finish their shifts—you're now a 24/7 contact center with 77% lower costs; provide self-service to customers even during business hours. Say goodbye to long AHT and low service levels; automate repetitive tasks like order tracking—more time for agents to focus on value-added tasks. Furthermore, cutting-edge contact center AI solutions such as Conversational AI and Chatbots eliminate the need to sacrifice the quality or efficiency of your client interactions.
Every retail organization must have a presence in all conceivable customer communication channels to achieve a competitive edge. However, having such a presence may be time-consuming and challenging to maintain, particularly if you lack the essential resources.
An omnichannel contact center solution is one of the most crucial things you need to tackle this difficulty. You will be able to foster consumer relationships across all required channels with such a system. Customers have a preference for their own channel, some are over Instagram and others may prefer Facebook or WhatsApp. Let them engage with customer service on their preferred channels.
In today's data-driven world, acquiring information on agent performance, sales rates, frequent queries, and customer behavior is just as crucial as workforce management for retail contact centers.
This knowledge is helpful since it helps you enhance your operations in whatever way possible. For example, you may train your agents based on a dataset that indicates their performance. At the same time, another piece of data demonstrating customer behavior can be used to upsell or cross-sell.
On the other hand, deriving insights from data can be a time-consuming and resource-intensive task.
If you could only have one feature for your contact center system, it should be robust reporting and monitoring features. Dashboards and analytics can provide the cockpit view of your customer service department. With such technologies, you can make sense of all the data you collect and enhance your operations to ensure your retail contact center is on full throttle.
One of the most common retail contact center issues is call management and the ability to switch between outgoing and incoming operations—mainly because most contact center solutions make this problematic. You may have experienced that when accidentally a call gets disconnected you don’t want to call back and wait over the IVR.
Deploy a contact center system that allows users to be activated for incoming and outbound operations and uses the potential of blended operations. So the same agent can call and continue over the call in case there is any disconnection.
Consumers have embraced various payment alternatives, particularly after the epidemic. However, just because you're a retail firm and don't sell your items online doesn't mean you can't sell them via your contact center!
A Virtual POS that you can easily integrate into your IVR system will allow your customers to purchase your products over the phone without needing websites or large deployments! Needless to say, the modern payment mechanism which is available on a smartphone (cards and wallets) can also be provided with SMS or WhatsApp integration.
Regardless of the business, this is an issue for all contact center operations. However, when dealing with high attrition rates in a retail contact center, the stakes are significantly higher, owing to the nature of your business.
There are several causes for high turnover rates, ranging from poor leadership, and work environment to burnout. Using gamification in customer service can create more excitement within team and using self-service tools will reduce the workload on agents for repetitive tasks.
Valentine's Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday... during these busy times, retail contact centers must either compromise quality standards to keep up with demand or recruit more personnel who are not required for the bulk of the year.
To keep up with the variable volume of client inquiries without jeopardizing service quality or causing agent fatigue, you must ensure that you have the correct number of employees to handle the peak. Efficiently using Workforce Management tools and planning in advance for contract loads is the best way to minimize the seasonality loads.
Contact centers allow retail firms to provide the most effective customer service possible. This customer service improves client retention independent of the business's or the customer's location.
Nonetheless, retail contact centers have particular retail contact center problems which other businesses do not have. Fortunately, easy solutions can assist you in managing your retail contact center creating happy employees and customers.
Author Bio: Akshay