The owner of a trendy fashion boutique cheerfully helps another happy customer at the register, who is paying for her textile purchase on a digital tablet.

With the in-store experience more important than ever, these are the five customer care hacks to help you convert your customers, writes Nick Touzeau. 

Today, price and quality of goods are no longer enough to ensure long-term business success. Customers expect more value at every turn, including personalised care that continuously demonstrates how much the organisation values their business and loyalty. Retail success depends on delivering a superior customer experience that measures up to an ever-growing array of consumer demands for high-quality, responsive customer care and service.

Even in the age of omnichannel shopping, a recent study by PwC found that 44 per cent of shoppers visited a bricks-and-mortar store at least weekly in 2018, increasing from just 36 per cent in 2015. Retailers need to create a sensory and social experience that attracts customers and entices them to shop in-store. (1)

To deliver the kind of personalised and responsive care that customers want, retailers need to empower their employees to deliver value in more ways. By equipping them with smart, mobile tools and technology, retailers can give employees access to the data and resources they need to enrich the customer experience at every opportunity.

Here are some of the ways the right mobility solutions can help advance what’s possible in customer care throughout the in-store experience:

1. Exceptional customer service

Enabling clear, seamless communication in any retail environment can be a constant challenge, particularly between departments, across different store locations, and within environments such as storerooms and loading docks. This lack of clarity and reliable connectivity can directly affect employees’ ability to serve customers as they may be unable to access the answers or information needed.

Applications are driving the use of mobility solutions, which also combine voice, email, text, and web solutions to work together across the entire retail environment, empowering employees to respond to customer inquiries reliably and immediately. For example, this technology can avoid the need for disruptive intercom systems for cashiers to reach managers in large stores. Instead, an enterprise mobile device can be used to discreetly contact the supervisor and request assistance.

2. Personalised, in-store assistance

Empowering employees with relevant insights about customer product preferences and buying behaviours can significantly inform and improve how they interact with customers. Smart mobility solutions provide employees with immediate access to relevant customer insights including past purchases, product and brand preferences, and buying patterns and behaviours. Based on this knowledge, employees can tailor their conversation to best serve each individual shopper, including offering relevant product recommendations or insights, which helps create more efficient interactions and more satisfied customers.

3. Buy online/pickup in store

Buy online and pick up in store (BOPIS) service lets customers enjoy the convenience of shopping online while still being able to pick items up immediately from the store and save on shipping costs. But speed and accuracy are critical. Delays or partially-filled orders frustrate customers, so it’s critical to have the tools to ensure a smooth process from order to pick up.

With smart mobility solutions, employees are immediately notified when an online order comes in, so they have the time and information needed to fill the order and prepare it for in-store pick up. When executed effectively, this service can save customers significant time.

4. Mobile POS

Frustrations including long lines, lack of product information and understocked shelves can be enough to send customers to a competitor. Mobile point of sale (mPOS) solutions take direct aim at these issues by equipping employees with critical information including product content, cross-selling suggestions, and enterprise inventory visibility, while letting them complete customer checkouts from anywhere in the store.

5. Endless aisles

Whether customers are looking for seasonal or sale items, or popular products that can be hard to keep in stock, no retailer wants a customer to leave disappointed or empty handed. With smart mobility solutions, retailers can empower their employees to expand sales beyond in-store products. Handheld devices let employees check and confirm inventory at current or alternate store locations as well as online and warehouse locations to hold, purchase, and ship items for customer convenience. Devices also let employees perform price checks by scanning the price tag.

For retailers, this new era of customer expectations creates new opportunities to strengthen and grow their customer relationships while enhancing competitive differentiation. However, to do so, retailers need to find new ways to expand and elevate in-store customer care. Next-generation mobility solutions can empower employees to provide the personalised, high-quality service needed to create a truly exceptional customer experience today and in the future.

(1) PwC: Global Consumer Insights Survey, 2018

Nick Touzeau, director of sales, ANZ, Wavelink