7 Secrets to a Seamless Retail Customer Service
Customer Service

7 Secrets to a Seamless Retail Customer Service

Are you a retailer finding it tough to offer great service to customers? Here's the solution, continue to read to know seven secret tips to improve your retail customer service.

Harsh Bairagi

17-03-2023

11 Min

Introduction

Happy customers are the backbone of any retail business.

While your primary focus might always be on increasing the number of orders, satisfying your customers is equally essential.

The studies suggest that repeat customers have been measured to spend an average of 67% more than new customers.

So, if you and your team find yourself juggling between multiple customer service queries to keep up with the expectations of your customers, it is high time to re-work on your retail customer service operations.

This blog is curated to discuss what retail customer service is, why it is crucial, and its benefits, with seven secrets to make it seamless for your retail support service in the business.

Let’s dive in straight away.

What is Retail Customer Service?

Retail customer service is catered to customers by retailers to offer them proper and timely resolutions for their queries. Often people confuse “retail” with just online shopping. However, retail means selling goods to customers. The medium could be any “online” or “offline.”

So, whether you run an offline or online retail store, providing on-time quality assistance to your customers is essential. Your end goal should be the customer’s happiness. They should feel happy and satisfied after your service.

The major challenge in retail industries lies with the number of customers reaching out to you in a moment. At this time, your proactiveness, customer service software for retail, and understanding of your customers’ issues proactively make a lot of difference.

What is the Importance of Customer Service in Retail?

Excellent customer service in retail stores builds great relations with customers. Assisting them when required increases their trust and creates a positive impression of your brand. While things like product price, availability, features, etc., are considered necessary by the customer, the customer experience is also crucial. It gives your business a competitive edge over your competitors.

A study by Forrester Opportunity Snapshot suggests that if your customers have effortless customer service interactions, they are 94% more likely to repurchase the product or service, and there’s an 88% probability of an increase in spending. Here are some other reasons why customer service should be your focus:

  • It gives you loyal customers for life
  • It gives your business new highs in terms of revenue
  • Happy customers love sharing their experiences with others, improving your brand positioning!

4 Most Common Customer Complaints that Negatively Impact Retail Businesses

Making the Customers Wait too Long

Customers contact the customer service team for assistance when they face issues. And making them wait for a long time doesn’t leave a good impression of your brand. It creates a negative customer experience. 90% of customers rate an “immediate” response as essential when facing any issue, and 60% define “immediate” as 10 minutes or less.

When Customers are not Being Able to Reach Out

If you run a business, that means you are offering your service or products to the customers, and there might be a possibility that customers want to reach out to you. However, if your business is still stuck on “JUST EMAIL SERVICE,” you are already sacrificing many customers.

It is vital to offer them multiple ways such as email, social media, phone numbers, web forms, etc. It becomes more crucial when you run an online business and do not have a physical store. In such scenarios, if you do not offer your customers multiple options to reach out, they might not even trust your business. Because if they purchase something from your online store and face any issues, they will not be able to contact you.

This fear of not being able to contact you after purchasing a product can ensure that they do not purchase from you in the first place.

Make Your Retail Customer Service Seamless Across All the Channels

Combine your queries from multiple channels with our Retail Customer Support Software.

Not Listening to the Customer’s Issues Properly

When your customers raise a query, most likely, they are a little anxious and expect you to understand their issue. In such situations, you do not want to be the one who makes them even more anxious. Avoid asking them to repeat themselves over and over again. The key is to be attentive, listen to the query properly, emphasize the details that they are providing, and offer them a quick and correct solution. You can refer to their past history with your brand with retail customer service software.

Unable to Offer Correct Solutions to the Customers

Just responding quickly to the customer query is not going to help unless you provide the customers with the most suitable and correct answers. When customer service agents provide wrong solutions to the customers, what it can do is it can create a negative impact on the customer and might also hamper their trust in your brand.

Hence, the customer service teams need to make sure that they listen to the customer and understand the query properly. Once understood, they can offer the customers the best possible solution. While performing a complex task, you can also collaborate with your team members by dividing that task into multiple sub-tasks with retail customer service software.

7 Secret Tips to a Smooth and Successful Retail Customer Service

1. Offer Customers Options to Help Themselves

Let’s say your customers are facing some issue at midnight, and they think to reach out to your customer service team looking for some assistance. But the service agents are not available. Eventually, customers are left with no other option than to wait till the agent is available.

In such situations, if the issue is not that big, the customer might be ok with all the waiting, but what if the situation is critical and waiting for the agents for hours makes it even worse? You, as a business, do not want such scenarios to take place; that is why it is crucial to offer your customers the power of self-service.

With the help of self-service portals like a knowledge base, your customers can help themselves, as they have access to the knowledge base that consists of a lot of helpful articles that can help them find a quick solution to their problems. Apart from offering helpful articles, the knowledge base is accessible 24/7 from anywhere in the world. Self-service also has many other such options that offer 24/7 availability, such as FAQs, community forums, etc.

2. Train Your Customer Service Staff

When your customer service department fails to provide good customer service, the reason might not be their skills but also because of a lack of understanding about the product/service.

So, make sure that your customer service team gets the proper understanding of your products/services so that they can offer the proper solution to the customers. You can plan regular training sessions dedicated to the team whenever there is a new update in your product.

One great benefit of knowing the products/services in and out is that sometimes the agents might not take a lot of time to find out the solution.

3. Offer Omnichannel Support

Offering one or two ways to reach the customer service departments has become old school. Today more than emails, your customers love to hang out on Instagram, Whatsapp, and Facebook while consuming the content you post. So, to remain head-to-head with the competition, you must offer your customers support on multiple platforms. This way, your customers can contact you from their preferred channels without fuss.

Omnichannel support transforms customer service from old school to modern times. It can ensure that your support agents can cover all the platforms from where your customers reach out effectively. As a business, you can ensure that you offer excellent service to all your customers, not only those who contact you via email or calls.

Pro Tip: Integrating help desk software for your retail business. It will combine all your support channels in a single interface. You can control all of them from a single place.

4. Use Canned Responses to Save Time

Customer service is a never-ending cycle. If you solve one query, many more will already be waiting in the queue to get solved, making it a hectic process. So, when you have less time to solve many queries, it is already tough to make it a seamless process. And on top of that, when similar queries are raised, it gets frustrating to reply with the same answer to all those queries repeatedly.

Customer service agents can use canned responses from a help desk system to solve this problem. These canned responses are predefined responses created to reply faster to customers without typing a single word. You must figure out what are the most common queries generated by the customers and then create a canned response for such queries. This can save a lot of time for the agents and offer the customers quick solutions. So, in the end, it is a win-win situation for all.

5. Personalize the Customer Experience

Personalization in customer service is the essential part. 89% of businesses are investing in personalization, and if we look at it from a different perspective, 76% of consumers get frustrated by businesses that do not offer personalized experiences. World renown businesses such as Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sephora, etc., are investing in personalization to know more about it and also implementing it in their customer service strategies.

Let’s take an example of one of these brands and see how they have implemented personalization in their strategies. Netflix personalized the customer experience by offering them content recommendations so they do not have to browse through the platform. This way, businesses go above and beyond to make the customer experience better and make them feel even more delighted, as in the end, it’s all about making the customers happy.

6. Act on Negative Feedback immediately

One effective and most underestimated way to transform your customer service is acting upon the negative feedback of the customers as soon as possible. In retail businesses, sometimes it’s the smallest things, like a little delayed delivery, that can cause negative feedback.

The best way to tackle this is to acknowledge it, take action, and inform your customers regarding the corrective action that you took. That will make a lot of difference.

7. Create Transparent Exchange & Return Policies

For online businesses making sure that they have created transparent exchange and return policies is very crucial. Online shoppers do not have physical access to the product that they need to purchase. They have to decide based on the little information that they are offered. Sometimes it might happen that the product does not match their requirement and might not be as they expected it to be.

So, they would want to return it back. In such scenarios, having a transparent return and exchange policy helps a lot. It builds trust between a brand and its customers. In fact, providing a quick and easy way to return a purchased item can increase conversion and repeat rates. So, when running an online store, remember to create transparent exchange & return policies, to enhance the trust of your customers.

5 Must-Have Customer Service Skills for Better Interaction with Customers

A Smile Goes a Long Way

Tell me, who likes a rude person? No one does. Being polite is the most basic skill of being a customer service agent. Only you can make the customer calm and tackle the situation effectively. Sometimes in your mind, you might not be able to find a solution, but a gentle smile assuring that I am there for you makes a lot of difference. It calms down your mind as well as the customers.

Avoid Making Fake Promises

Just imagine that you are a customer who is facing some issue, and you reached out to the agent regarding that. The customer service agent replied that they would look into the matter and the query would get solved within the next 2-3 hours. But it has been a whole day since you last spoke with that agent, and still, you have not got the solution. How would you feel? Not so good.

It creates a negative impression of the business, which must be avoided. So, customer service agents need to ensure that they do not make fake promises to create a good impression for a short period of time. Instead, listen to the query properly, understand it well, and be transparent with the customers about everything.

Never Shy Away from Going Above & Beyond

Customer service agents are the only ones with whom the customers connect after they have made the purchase. So, they need to ensure that the customers have a good experience after the purchase.

Proactively addressing their issues, emphasizing with them, and providing a viable solution will set you apart and leave a lasting impression in the mind of your customers. For example, sending a handwritten thank you note can be a gesture they will remember for life.

Don’t be Negative When Having a Conversation with Customers

Being negative has never created a positive impact, and customer service is no different. Being negative can only make the situation worse. When having a conversation with customers, being positive is essential. Only then can the situation be effectively tackled; otherwise, imagine the customer and the service agent both being negative.

Don’t be Just Reactive, Be Proactive

Emphasizing the issues even before they happen is what being proactive is all about. Customer service teams must ensure they eliminate customer issues by anticipating them before they face them. For example, when running an online store, there might be instances when your website might be under maintenance or you are delaying order fulfillment. In such scenarios, businesses need to inform their customers about it in advance not to surprise them.

5 Benefits of Good Customer Service in Retail Business

1. Happy Customers = More Sales

The status of revenue reflects how well your business is doing. Every strategy, every resource, and every employee of the business’s ultimate goal is to increase the business’s revenue.

Customer service is one of the most critical aspects of increasing YOY revenue. When prioritizing better customer service experiences, businesses can grow revenues between 4% and 8% above their market.

2. Customer Retention Becomes Easy

Being there for the customers whenever they need assistance and helping them can be quite a way to retain them. Offering quality service not only retains the customers but also enhances their trust and loyalty, which can significantly help your business in the long run. 91% of customers would consider another purchase after positive customer service.

3. Positive Word of Mouth to generate more business

No way of marketing can be as effective as positive word of mouth. Customers might not believe what the brand has to say about the products/services, but they would surely believe the take of their family and friends on it. Positive word of mouth carries a lot of authority and can change the mind of customers. It has the power to convert prospects into customers.

Let’s say you saw an advertisement for a clothing brand selling up to 40% off on apparel. After knowing about the sale, as a customer, you will still be confused about a few things, such as the quality of the product, the fitting of the product, etc. The ad might not be enough to make you change your mind. But when you hear the positive word of mouth from someone like your friend about the same sale, then it might hit differently. You might not be as confused as before. All your doubts can get clear, and you can buy the product without confusion.

4. Reduce the Customer Churn Rate

The churn rate measures the number of customers that have left your business after making a purchase. A higher churn rate means that your business cannot retain customers. The reason can be anything from their not being happy with your product to not being offered customer service when they needed it the most. According to a report, 65% of customers said they have changed to a different brand because of a poor experience. So, focus on improving your customer experience by offering them the best possible service and reducing the churn rate of your customers.

5. Customer Lifetime Value Increases

Customer lifetime value directly impacts revenues. It refers to the amount of money a customer has brought during his engagement with your brand, ultimately increasing the revenues of your business. You might be thinking about how customer lifetime value is related to customer service. So here is a stat that proves that offering the best customer service to your customers increases their engagement with your business and how they spend more money after every transaction. As per a report, customers buy 90% more frequently when they are highly engaged with any business, spend 60% more per transaction, and have three times the annual value compared to other customers.

How DeskXpand' Retail Help desk Enhances Your Retail Customer Service

DeskXpand is a help desk software created to help businesses of all sizes eliminate their issue of offering high-quality service to their customers. It can revolutionize how your business offers customer service with its power-packed features such as ticketing, self-service, omnichannel support, canned responses, analytics, automation, customization, etc., making it a lot easier to offer quality service. With the help of DeskXpand, businesses can not only offer excellent customer service but also enhance the experience of the customers.

Here’s how DeskXpand helps you transform your retail customer service:

Handling customer service requests – The help desk software is not just created to offer technical support to a user; it is also beneficial for non-technical businesses. For example, retail support services in businesses often need to manage queries related to different product issues. This is where DeskXpand’s one-page ticketing feature can help them oversee and resolve these customer inquiries.

Self-service to Improve Efficiency – Retail businesses can offer self-service to let the customers find the solutions to their issues themselves. It can solve their issue of offering 24/7 customer service. With self-service, customers can easily find answers to their issues without reaching out to the service agents. Self-service consists of FAQ pages and knowledge-based articles for human-like chatbots. Besides offering 24/7 support to customers, it also allows your agents to focus on more complex issues as it takes care of the rest.

Automation to Enhance Productivity – In the retail business, when there are so many customers reaching out, it might get tough to manage everything manually. Often customer service agents multitask to make ends meet, but between all this chaos, their accuracy and productivity get hampered, and they might not be able to provide effective solutions. This is when automation can help them lower their workload. They can automate certain tasks and make the complex process easier. Automation can save agents time, reduce the chances of making errors, enhance agent productivity, streamline the service process, etc.

Let DeskXpand be your customer service growth partner to take your retail customer service one step forward.

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