Is it too early to mention Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the holiday shopping period? Not for brands ramping up for their retail marketing promotions around the busiest time of the year – The Golden Quarter. In recent years the savings consumers expect on Black Friday and Cyber Monday have expanded to include the last three months of the year. Here is a quick look at how you can automate the retail customer journey, and how you can remove friction at each stage using VoiceSage’s suite of proactive customer engagement tools, allowing you to maximise sales during this exciting period.
1: Gaining Customer Insight
Knowing who your customers are and what they want is difficult. Are you targeting the right demographic with the right information?
Will your price points be acceptable to customers, or could you be missing out on lost revenue as a result of under-pricing? Not having answers to questions like these can make entering the Golden Quarter seem like a daunting prospect.
The obvious answer to this is of course to analyse data on your customer, but this can be difficult to collect, or too broad to be relevant to your products and campaigns.
A great solution to this is to send interactive/outbound messaging to gather survey data via SMS. Using automated SMS chat you can ensure you’re talking to the right person, and gather data based on pre-set questions. With Rich Media Messaging you can gather more in-depth data and deliver an app like experience, without requiring the customer to download an app.
2: Automate Promotions In Your Retail Customer Journey
Engaging and catching customers’ attention at any time of the year is tough. This ramps up during busy periods around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, as are consumer search behaviour, making it harder for your products to be found. PPC is becoming more expensive on social and search. Email open rates are stagnant, to say nothing for conversion rates.
Knowing the optimal channel to use can ensure good Click Through Rates (CTR) and conversion rates. This means knowing when to send marketing messages to customers based on interactions. It also means sending it via the right channel, whether that’s SMS, Interactive Voice, email, Rich Media Messaging, or through an app.
Using an API to integrate various systems can deliver triggered messages to customers as they browse your web site, drop items into a shopping cart and consider leaving your site or come into proximity to your bricks and mortar shop.
3: The Purchase
Payment friction and abandoned carts reduce potential revenue and are one of the main sticking points of the digital customer journey. Abandoned shopping carts are at 70% – 80% and are the bane of ecommerce. Free deliveries help reduce abandonment, but can only be implemented so far before they start impacting revenue.
Things like reducing the number of steps to payment, auto-filling customer data, and bringing customers back to their cart, can remove friction from payments and ensure customer spend with.
To achieve this, it is important to use tech that can integrate with payments platforms and automatically get reminders and ‘Buy Now’ messages into the hands of valuable customers. VoiceSage’s payments solutions allows you to quickly set up an intuitive and visual landing page, integrate with your payments provider, deliver across contact channels, and track each step of the journey.
4: Fulfillment, Logistics and Delivery
Missed deliveries are expensive and create customer dissatisfaction. The cost of double fuel, double wages, and unhappy customers going elsewhere for their next shopping spree can leave a significant dent in the revenue generated during the Golden Quarter.
Simply notifying customers that their parcel is on the way can ensure they are there when it arrives. Allowing them to reschedule delivery times automatically via an automated interaction and feeding this info back to the operations team make sure you avoid costly missed deliveries.
Simple notifications via SMS or Interactive Voice Messaging can reassure customers that their order is safe. Easy to build Rich Media delivery rescheduling allows customers to make sure they’re at home when the parcel arrives. And it’s important to feed this back to delivery staff using VoiceSage’s API.
5: Inbound Customer Care and Service
Inbound calls to contact centres about wayward parcels, or frivolous queries can eat up the time of a customer care team. This expense is seen in the balance sheet, and then in the frustration of skilled contact centre agents.
Pre-empting inbound calls with outbound notifications can ward off time-consuming avoidable calls and keep customers informed and happy.
Pre-empt inbound calls with SMS notifications or use two-way SMS that allows agents to handle multiple queries at the same time. If a customer is expecting a phone call, automated Interactive Voice Messaging can remove the drudge work of letting the customer know the latest status of the enquiry.
6: Collecting Customer Feedback
It can be a challenge knowing if customers are happy with the previous steps. Collecting survey data at each stage is often the role of entire departments or can be a major project for an already busy team. Additionally one of the biggest challenges for retailers is the time it takes to prepare, execute, and analyse a survey.
Instead, it is possible to automatically collect, and feed captured data into analytics systems using pre-prepared trigger-based messages. This means the survey is received at the optimal time, and takes much of the drudge out of surveying.
SMS surveys and interactive, visual questions have high engagement rates and can keep your team informed of any potential sticking points. Integrate your delivery and contact centre systems to make sure a survey is delivered to each customer at critical points in their journey.
7: Automate Debt Collection In Your Retail Customer Journey
Many brands offer credit to their customers, allowing consumers to access goods and services that might otherwise be out of reach. However, missed payments means less revenue once it comes time to collect. Additionally, collecting debt from customers via agent dialing can be expensive.
Simply reminding customers that a payment is coming up can reduce missed payments. Automate your retail customer journey by sending an automated outbound messaging campaign can free-up valuable agent time.
SMS is the ideal channel for this kind of engagement as it has excellent read rates. It’s also a softer approach to outbound dialling, as it allows consumers to respond in their own time. Using payments integration can ensure credit can be collected without using up agent time. Where customers have only provided a landline phone number, Interactive Voice Messaging (IVM) can save hundreds of hours in an outbound call centre.
8: Close the loop
Tracking and reporting customer data at each step is difficult, as they can come in contact with various departments, each with their own systems and processes.
Integrating your brand’s reporting means diverse teams are all singing from the same hymn sheet and treating your customer with a complete view of how they’ve interacted with your brand.
For this reason, it’s important to use only systems with open APIs that can talk to each other. It’s also important to use a system that provides important retail data quickly and intuitively.
Automate Your Retail Customer Journey
For more information on how VoiceSage are helping retailers maximize revenue opportunities during the Golden Quarter and to see if we can help you during this hectic period contact Lee Trenam for a discussion and demo.
Published on: 30th August 2018