I recently placed an online order with a major retailer and received the wrong items. I immediately went online to resolve the issue. After pulling up my order and clicking on “report problem,” I was instructed to call the company. Surely that wouldn’t be necessary? After navigating to the company home page, though, I was not able to locate a chat option. So, I begrudgingly placed the phone call, only to be told that due to higher than normal call volume I would need to call back later. WHAT?!
I left a huge box full of items I didn’t want on my living room floor for several weeks before trying again. I was able to resolve the issue relatively quickly over the phone, and I am still a loyal brand customer, but I was surprised by the way the entire situation was handled. I thought everyone was omni-channel by now, especially large retailers.
Customers Expect Seamless Integration
Today most customers expect that they should be able to shop seamlessly across all channels, but this does not mean that the retailers are ready. In fact, according to a BRP Consulting study, only 7% of retailers actually provide a “complete unified commerce experience,” meaning a purchase that can be started from anywhere and completed from anywhere. Although they aren’t there yet, retailers know that a seamless experience across channels is what customers want, and 50% of those surveyed plan on providing this within the next three years.
With all of the recent talk of GDPR and personal privacy, it almost seems counterintuitive that the same BRP study found that 64% of customers are fine with retailers saving their personal browsing or shopping history and personal information. This comes with the caveat that customers expect to get something in return—personalization. What’s more, 51% expect to get a personalized experience across all channels.
Most retailers have provided their customers with multichannel capabilities, but the integration of these channels is what is still lacking. In a 2017 Nice inContact benchmark study, it was reported that 72% of customers expect companies to know their purchase history regardless of their method of communication. Many expect even more integration than that. 72% of the respondents agreed that they expect to be able to continue talking with the same representative on the phone as they were talking with via online chat.
Interactive Marketing Is the New Norm
In short, customers expect more than personalized marketing. They expect interactive marketing. Katabat’s Kyle Christensen recently spoke to CRM about just that. “With personalized marketing, companies gathered information about the customer, knew what he or she was likely to be interested in from past buying, and made offers, but the communications between the company and the customer were entirely one-sided,” Christensen explained. “With interactive marketing, the customer and the company remain engaged throughout marketing, sales, order fulfillment, and service. The continuous communications come in from all sides.”
Customers don’t just want interactive marketing, they are expecting it. Those organizations that can successfully provide a truly integrated and seamless experience across and between channels are the ones that will keep and attain the most customers. And if you’re successful, word will travel fast. Yet another study found that social networks influence 74% of buying decisions. You didn’t forget about those communication channels, did you? Make your customers happy, and they will make sure everyone hears about it!
To learn more about how Katabat can help you deliver personalized and integrated marketing and customer service, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.