Retailers need to separate themselves from competitors at every single touch point when it comes to customer service, from initial engagement right through to point of sale.
Seamless customer service is integral for retailers who are looking to both attract new customers and retain existing ones. In today’s digitally reliant environment, consumers have a plethora of online and offline options at the touch of a button when it comes to shopping and will simply turn to another retailer should they not receive the experience they demand.
In such a competitive landscape, retailers need to separate themselves from competitors at every single touchpoint when it comes to customer service, from initial engagement right through to point of sale.
A recent report from Harvard Business Review found a significant gap in how companies are engaging with their customers. Despite knowing the importance of customer engagement, industry leaders are facing challenges in the execution of appropriate technologies.
Whether it is slow order processing, stock out or even lack of integration with new payment providers — consumers do not want to experience any friction during the purchasing process. Long queues at checkouts fuel frustration and can cause customers to abandon their purchase altogether.
Restricted to a specific place in the store, traditional POS systems are not able to provide retailers with the required agility to cater to consumer demands. Retailers need to be capable of serving consumers anywhere in the store whilst providing a complete personalized experience, which can, in turn, positively impact consumer loyalty. A balance between both is a must. The question remains, how?
Augmenting customer loyalty
Customer experience plays an indispensable role in consumer retention, as well as helping retailers make the most of their customer footfall. Whether consumers are simply window shopping or taking advantage of significant discounts, providing a seamless experience has become foundational to both attracting and retaining customers. With a high-quality customer experience, retailers can boost consumer loyalty, which translates to sales. Studies show 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.
With mobile point of sale, all of this can be facilitated from any part of the store in both offline and online modes — which eliminates the frustration of long queues and waiting times. What’s more, MPOS technology serves as a single-source of information for in-store sales associates which allows them to make personalized recommendations spontaneously.
Maximizing visibility for effective decision making
The entire retail ecosystem is rapidly evolving. Something that might have appealed to consumers last month may not necessarily appeal to them today. In fact, sales techniques for customers can be completely different from each other based on their preferences. However, with access to the right data available in MPOS, retailers can segment and classify consumers based on their purchase frequency, history and habits. This enables highly effective and consumer-centric decision making for associates.
How does this look in practice? A consumer could be keen to buy a particular product but the item in question is out of stock. By leveraging the MPOS technology which keeps all relevant information — such as inventory levels and expected stock arrival times – in-store associates can provide consumers with accurate assurances about when the item will be available again. They can also then reserve the product and hold it for the customer when the item arrives, or they can order it to be delivered to their home. Once the item has arrived, associates can also directly email consumers right from the MPOS app to inform them. This not only positively affects sales but also strengthens the relationship between retailer and customer.
Delivering top-tier customer experience
Providing consumers with a next level customer experience isn’t necessarily easy. It requires an equal level of comfort and simplification in each area of the consumer purchase journey. However, there are a number of factors that can help retailers provide a top-tier experience to their customers.
MPOS provides in-store associates all the required information to process returns quickly and effectively. Consumers can seamlessly return items without having to wait in long queues. Retailers can also turn a return into a retention opportunity by offering consumers a range of suitable alternatives, such as other products, vouchers or exclusive discounts tailored based on consumer needs. MPOS makes it all available right at the fingertips of the associates.
Regardless of the location or the platform the product was purchased from, MPOS provides in-store teams with incredible control and flexibility over returns. Whilst offering options such as Buy Online Return In-Store and Buy Online Pickup In-Store, modern MPOS systems are a great tool to enhance the customer’s returns experience.
Putting the consumer first when it comes to organizing operations is a strategic way to build long-term relationships. One of the best ways to achieve this is to offer a variety of payment options and allow customers to pay as they please.
MPOS software is highly flexible and can easily add new payment methods when needed. This makes the transaction process simpler for associates and customers alike. A seamless payment process can add a positive impact for the future relationship.
Advanced MPOS technology offers a frictionless integration with different applications to maximise offerings. Retailers can take advantage of increased digital offerings, improved point of sale, and an easy flow of information in real time across different platforms. MPOS systems are user friendly and allow retailers to train new staff in a fraction of the time it would take to train them on traditional POS. This is especially useful during the festive peak, when retailers hire extra staff to meet increased demands.
It is important to understand that to deliver a seamless experience for customers, the everyday work experience must be simplified for employees. User friendly technology can allow staff to deliver more while scaling the overall growth for the business.
Jonathan Mauerer is VP Operations at Teamwork Commerce, a leading Omnichannel Solution, providing retailers with Point-of Sale, Order Management, Inventory Control, CRM, and Analytics. It also boasts an ecosystem of integrations with top solutions making unified commerce a seamless activity.