To stay competitive, retailers have embraced new models for serving customers. From online stores to social and visual commerce, this industry is neck deep in omni-channel – whether they know it or not. As I detailed in a recent article, now published on Total Retail, research shows that most retailers are woefully unprepared for this rapidly changing environment, especially in the contact center, where both agent skill sets and technologies haven’t kept pace with changing consumer expectations.
For example, the Sprout Social Index indicates that even as online requests to retailers rise, 83 percent of them won’t be answered. In some cases, agents will be too focused on managed outbound marketing programs, while in others they lack the tools to respond effectively. Perhaps even more fundamental, agents haven’t been properly trained to listen to customer inquiries in order to engage appropriately.
Consumers are increasingly shopping online, mainly because it’s more convenient and delivers a more personalized experience than coming to a store — i.e., finding parking, fighting crowds, not getting any service, not getting the products you came for, long wait times to check out. Delivering a great online experience is quite challenging, requiring a well-crafted website, with a good mobile footprint. But what’s often overlooked is the need to continually, and easily, provide seamless access to the contact center.
Click here to read how, with today’s always-on mobile consumer, the omni-channel contact center can help retailers overcome their greatest challenge.