Optimising Retail Customer Services for the Next Normal: a Case Study

As the UK cautiously attempts to exit the latest coronavirus lockdown, it's worth thinking about some of the structural changes in retail organisations that have been expedited by the pandemic. With so many individuals working from home, and traditional workplaces closing or furloughing staff, digital transformation of businesses has been facilitated far quicker than previously anticipated.

We have seen months in which the physical environment was completely out of bounds for non-essential shopping, and food shopping home deliveries substantially increased. A significant rise in internet sales was recorded in April 2020, with the proportion of online retail sales reaching a record high of 36.1% in February 2021.

Many businesses did an incredible job in changing their systems and operations so rapidly in 2020. But there should be no room for complacency. A study has shown that in the UK, satisfaction with customer service dropped to a level not seen since mid 2015. With almost 1 in 7 customers having a problem to address with a food retailer, and over 1 in 8 with a non-food retailer, the importance of getting customer service right must not be overlooked.

In some organisations, structural changes have been made in different areas, without fully integrating these, so there is no coherent omnichannel process. And increased investment in omnichannel does not automatically equate with successful implementation—when customers have a choice of channels by which to get in contact, they still may not receive the quality of treatment they desire. Perhaps not surprisingly, customer experience is predicted to become an increasingly important area of competition over the coming years.

At Gnatta, we help companies improve their omnichannel customer engagement experience. The difference we can make is both quantifiable and significant.

Take, for example, a case study involving one of our retail clients:

Detailed workflows were constructed

With clearly defined triggers and relevant filters, these formed a powerful basis for the project. Strengths and weaknesses of the existing system were clearly visible.

A Single Customer View (SCV) was set up

This included the client's Warehouse Management System (WMS), Order Management System (OMS), and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. All interactions for a customer are now visible in one place, regardless of contact channel.

Customer queries are allocated via the Gnatta routing system

This ensures the right customer service agent can resolve the query. In some cases, this will be a real person with a specific skill set, in other cases, an automated response or chatbot.

Impressive results were quickly achieved

This highly intelligent solution led to:

1: Contact volume reduced by 19%

2: Average Handle Time across all channels reduced by 17%

3: First Contact Resolution increased by 21%

By dealing with customer queries more efficiently, the client saved time and money, and customer satisfaction greatly increased.

Retail organisations have worked hard during the pandemic, and because this has been so apparent, many customers have been more tolerant of problems than they might otherwise have been. Now is not the time to squander their goodwill. It's a good opportunity to review old and new processes and systems, and make sure the customer omnichannel experience is robust and fit-for-purpose moving forwards.

To find out how you can streamline your customer engagement processes and make the most of your customer service resources, contact Gnatta today.