It’s no secret that the quality of companies’ customer service can make or break them. A good customer experience can help your brand, but a bad one can really destroy it. Consider the last time you wrote a review on a company. Was it positive or negative? Research shows that most consumers love to talk about their negative experiences, with 72% writing a bad review, 35% complaining on social media, and 82% relaying their experience with family and friends.
While a few bad reviews may not seem too daunting, these comments can have devastating results, with 86% of consumers saying they have stopped purchasing from a company due to a bad customer service experience.
On the flip side, companies that consistently provide positive customer experiences have a lot to gain. In fact, 73% of consumers will purchase from a company based solely on a brand’s reputation for providing good customer service.
While this is true across industries, retail is an especially competitive playing field. With multiple ways to shop, and access to so many retailers who sell similar products, customers are increasingly looking to a company’s customer service as a major differentiator.
So, how, as a retailer, can you differentiate your customer service from your competitors? Here are a few ways an Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) may be your answer to keep current customers happy, and convert new shoppers:
Customer Care, When the Customer Wants It
Overall, people are busy. With so much to do, people want to be able to get things done when it is convenient for them and on the channel of their choice. Whether customers are looking to pay a bill in the middle of the night, or check the status of an order during their lunch break, providing access when they need it is crucial.
By implementing an IVA, you can offer customer care 24/7 across channels like voice, SMS, and chat, while maintaining a consistent brand voice on each.
Waiting, Waiting, and More Waiting…
No one likes to wait (or has the time to wait) – in the store, on the phone, or online. Retail has one of the lowest thresholds out of any industry for the willingness of people to wait to resolve an issue. Research shows that up to 10 minutes is about the sweet spot, and after that willingness to wait decreases greatly.
IVAs can help provide an easy and efficient way for your shoppers to take care of things like checking order status, paying bills, initiating refunds and exchanges, and more. All without having to sit through a playlist of elevator music or looking at an online chat window for what seems like hours waiting for a response.
Make it Personal
Personalization is key in developing relationships. When the barista remembers your morning coffee order, a salesperson calls you by name when you enter a store, or your beauty advisor reminds you that it might be time to replenish your favorite lipstick, it makes a big difference. IVAs can integrate with clients’ CRM systems to deliver personalized experiences. IVAs can also make use of customers’ historic and real-time data sources to make decisions and customize experiences.
When it comes to retailers, providing top-notch customer service can directly impact your business. Using IVAs can help alleviate pivotal pain points that many customers attribute to poor customer care experiences, enable your company to provide an enhanced customer experience, and differentiate you from the rest.