Memorable customer experience is key to success for retail industry players. To survive, a lot of businesses in the retail industries have shifted operations online due to Covid-19. Statista found that retail platforms have undergone an unprecedented global traffic increase. Retail websites generated almost 22 billion visits in June 2020 alone, up from 16.07 billion global visits in January 2020. With this change comes the need to deliver excellent online customer experience.
Just how important is customer satisfaction in retail? A Deloitte survey found that about 76% of respondents cited overall levels of convenience in buying a product as a critical factor in purchasing decisions. Moreover, according to PWC, staying relevant in this digital age includes creating customer centric approaches by integrating customer data in every channel and tailoring personalised customer engagements.
Many aspects of retail businesses contribute to creating memorable customer experiences. But it is worth remembering that these experiences should encompass every aspect of what the brand or business offers. The sales team is one of the most crucial departments that specifically contributes to memorable customer experience as they are in direct contact with customers.
Build Memorable Customer Experience Right from the Sales Process
To increase sales and build long-term customer relationships, the Sales team needs to put themselves in the customers’ perspective. Keep in mind that customer experience does not just focus on end-sale but also on what customers face throughout the entire sales process, includes the pre- and post-sales stages.
By building significant engagement opportunities in these two stages, customers will be left with positive impressions of a business. In the pre-sales stage, the Sales team needs to build awareness, educate, and tailor solutions for customers. On the other hand, in the post-sales stage, businesses need to ensure customer satisfaction and build customer loyalty.
In this stage, the Sales team needs to identify leads. One of the pre-sales efforts that can be done is to use a history of existing customer orders and prospective market analysis. These results can then be used to create a bid strategy for prospective customers. McKinsey reported that:
“Companies with strong pre-sales capabilities consistently achieve win rates of 40–50% in new business(es) and 80–90% in renewal business(es)”.
So, what can Retail Sales Teams Do?
1. Forecast Demand in Pre-Sales Stage
First, forecast demand in the pre-sales stage by looking at your data history and observing current trends. This will give you a better idea on what to keep, what to improve, and other considerations. Looking at these data can help you identify your customers’ preferences based on gender, age group, your top selling products, and so on. Don’t forget that effective pre-sales should be able to identify customers’ needs and pain points while following up with potential customers.
As an example, through your research, you discovered that majority of your female customers between the ages of 18 and 24 purchased a particular red blouse in your collection. You have also identified that this blouse is popular due to its premium fabric, stylish design, and trendy color. Therefore, you can offer this product to potential customers and highlight that this is the solution to their pain points i.e. the difficulty in searching for an affordable but stylish blouse with good fabric and in that particular color. Retailers should also increase awareness of the said blouse before the product launch, such as doing a pre-promotional post on social media.
One tool businesses can use to optimize the forecast demand process is CRM. CRM is able to integrate data on one dashboard, making it easy for businesses to research and analyze existing customer order history to design strategies based on your existing customers preference, information, and pain points.
2. Create Pleasant Pre-Sales Experience
Secondly, the Sales team needs to curate a pleasant pre-sales customer experience. This can be done by properly providing customers with information they can use as well answering potential customer questions about products and services. As mentioned in the 1st step of Gartner CX Pyramid, information should be made easily available for customers to attain what they want without lengthy steps to follow.
Provide complete sources of information, such as websites and sales decks for customers. This will give potential customers thorough knowledge about your products and encourage them to make purchases. To ensure all customer queries are answered precisely and in real-time, chatbots can be a useful tool. Chatbots can be another alternative in helping you educate potential customers about your products. Chatbots are also able to reply to numerous messages and devices at the same time 24/7.
Apart from the pre-sales process, it is important for businesses to ensure memorable customer experience in the post-sales process. This stage is where transactions occur and is very important for retail industries. A good example of an effective retail post-sales activity is conducting transactional communication, which includes providing order and shipping notifications, disseminating digital receipts, and building customer loyalty programs. Offering discounts and rewards to loyal customers will be an effective strategy. Still wondering what to do? Here are more tips:
1. Offer timely and Precise Sales Support
Firstly, the Sales team needs to offer timely and precise sales support in the post-sales stage. This can include providing order notifications and shipment information for customers on communication platforms.
Businesses can also provide digital receipts and ensure a smooth returns process in the event of errors. For example, if a product in the wrong size or in poor condition was given to the customer, retailers need to ensure that a digital receipt can be accessed by both parties to ensure a seamless and fast returns process. Quickening things up will also prevent angry customers. Sales support also needs to be able to effectively respond to product queries.
2. Make Customers Feel Special and Cared for by your Business
Secondly, the Sales team also needs to make customers feel special and cared for by your business. This can be done by offering a product or service that suits their needs, rewarding them or using familiar words when communicating with them, such as addressing them by name. Building a customer loyalty program or offering discounts and rewards to loyal customers can attract loyal customers. For example, after a purchase of a certain amount, customers will be rewarded with free gifts or a discount voucher. Last but not least, it is highly recommended to send solicit customers’ feedback and testimonies related to services and product performance.
A chatbot can be a useful tool to provide the above. It can be used to provide personalized messages, such as providing order notifications, digital receipts, or providing reward and discount vouchers. Chatbots can also respond to Frequently Asked Questions while the Sales support team can focus on more complex questions.
3. Establish effective communication through the various communication channels
Lastly, businesses need to establish effective communication through the various communication channels that customers use. However, opening many platforms at the same time can be a waste of resources. Businesses should integrate various communication channels onto a single multichannel chat platform for ease of communication. This will also help resolve complaints and help customers find relevant information even if the data is spread across various communication channels.
Improve Customer Experience in the Sales Process Now!
For retailers to succeed using online platforms, memorable customer experience needs to be established not only in the end sale process, but also in the pre-sale and post sale stages. It is therefore very important for retailers to ensure that their pre-sales and post-sales services can effect in high customer satisfaction. A satisfied customer will keep coming back to buy your products.
Are you ready to build a memorable customer experience and satisfy your customers? Qiscus can help you find the best practices in doing so and provide you with the right solutions. Contact us to learn more!