#3 Turning Store Employees Into Online Experts
Mass layoffs add another dark layer during this pandemic, promising to throw this country’s economy into a tailspin. Successful brands retrained in-store staff for their online customer service team, given they are already well educated on product information and creating a personal customer connection.
This unified offline and online agent team reduced training times and let brick-and-mortar sales teams transition easily into online sales, with no need for mass labor cuts.
#4 The New Role of Customer Service
Successful brands like Gucci, for example, have shifted from using “customer service reps” to “online sales associates.” In the past, companies hired support agents who were mainly focused on resolving mundane service issues like returns, tracking or website FAQs. The idea was to solve the issue quickly and go on to the next.
“Online sales associates” receive specialized training in product knowledge and emotional intelligence to deliver bespoke customer support and clientele online. The idea is to spend more time with customers instead of less in order to foster real connections with customers.
Brands that encourage customer connection online will be rewarded with increased brand loyalty and higher basket values.
The retail industry has been thrown into chaos, and will bring about massive shifts in the entire ecosystem, good and bad. Perhaps one small silver lining for our industry is that some of these changes will involve an evolution in how to support and guide customers that will ultimately usher in a “retail renaissance.”
Hadar Paz is CEO and co-founder of Powerfront, an AI-powered chat solution for luxury brands’ online customer service experience.