Phy-gital Roundtable: Breakfast Roundup from Germany and Netherlands

02 May '15 | Debjyoti Paul

German Shoppers: Meet Them in the Fast Lane to Phy-gital

15 January '15 | Ralf Reich

Shoppers Will Share Personal Information (But They Don’t Want to be “Friends”)

15 January '15 | Anil Venkat

Modernize or Perish: Property and Casualty Insurers and IT Solutions

14 January '15 | Manesh Rajendran

Benelux Reaches the Phy-gital Tipping Point: Omnichannel Readiness is Crucial

13 January '15 | Anil Gandharve

The New Omnichannel Dynamic: Finding Core Principles Across Industries

13 January '15 | Debjyoti Paul

Technology does not disrupt business – CIO day 2014 Roundup

02 December '14 | Anshuman Singh

Apple Pay – The Best Is Yet To Come

02 December '14 | Indy Sawhney

Digital transformation is a business transformation enabled by technology

01 December '14 | Amit Varma

3 Stages of FATCA Testing and Quality Assurance

06 October '14 | Raman Suprajarama

3 Reasons why Apple Pay could dominate the payments space

18 September '14 | Gaurav Johri

Beacon of Hope: Serving Growth and Customer Satisfaction

05 August '14 | Debjyoti Paul

The Dos and Don’ts of Emerging Technologies Like iBeacon

30 July '14 | Debjyoti Paul

What You Sold Us On – eCommerce Award Finalist Selections

17 July '14 | Anshuman Singh

3 Steps to Getting Started with Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

04 June '14 | Koushik Ramani

8 Steps to Building a Successful Self Service Portal

03 June '14 | Giridhar LV

Innovation outsourced – a myth or a mirage or a truth staring at us?

13 January '14 | Ramesh Hosahalli

What does a mobile user want?

03 January '14 | Gopikrishna Aravindan

The Modern Retail Customer, Part 3 – The future of customer service-for you and your customers

Posted on: 28 July '15

As we discussed in the first two installments in this series, The Modern Retail Customer, Part 1 and Part 2, today’s consumers expects personalization, a seamless shopping experience and top-notch customer service. In our omnichannel environment, retailers that win on customer service are the ones that earn loyalty, reduce churn and get a greater share of the customer’s lifetime value. Let’s gaze into our crystal ball to find out about the future of the retail customer relationship.

Omnichannel across the board

It’s no longer enough to have only one or two ways to contact customer service. Purchasing has become an omnichannel, value-added, order- and delivery-anywhere experience, and customer service is following suit. Retailers now offer many ways to communicate with representatives, such as interactive voice response, at call centers, via email or chat, in person, at in-store kiosks or by using an app where you press a button and someone calls you. Maximizing omnichannel presence requires being open to new technologies, including virtual agents who can “chat” using natural language processing. Businesses also need to offer 24/7 service, no matter where the customer is.

Mindtree worked with a leading gaming company to provide an understanding of typical issues faced by gamers that prompt them contact the company’s call center. Mindtree optimized the frequently asked questions section of the client’s website, and this update reduced call volumes substantially.
In addition, the company used its integrated data analytics service with the client’s data platform to generate predictive customer insights. This analytics consulting engagement allowed the company to access and analyze playing patterns and feature usage, as well as make real-time recommendations for customer service agents in the call center to offer to gamers.

The platform not only helped provide a first-contact resolution for customer problems, but it also generated substantial cross-sell and upsell opportunities.

Where to draw the line

In the near future, retailers will get better at combining point-of-sale data with browse data and behavior, paying attention to what customers say on social media, and combining that data with knowledge of how customers interact with products in a store.

But many retailers struggle with where to draw the line – what information to gather, where to gather it and how to use it – at a time when using data in retail is a very young practice. According to the Mindtree Phy-gital Shopper Survey, customers appear to be willing to share personal data for a richer shopping experience, but only as long as it doesn’t invade their personal space. For example, most customers will share personal information with retailers in the moment that they’re interacting, but not when related ads show up on their Facebook timelines. In this retail dance, the customer wants strong cues in order to move confidently. On the other hand, if you step on any toes, your customer might decide to find another dance partner.

A good practice for striking this balance is to interweave online behavior with product recommendations and promotions, so customers feel empowered and engaged. British supermarket chain Tesco, for example, does this well: When a customer shows interest in an online recipe, the Tesco system automatically suggests the best ingredients for making it. The customer can purchase them all with a single click through to checkout – and receive a coupon for one of the ingredients.

Your service future

All this talk of integrated omnichannel shopping experiences and seamless customer service is irrelevant if retailers don’t use the technologies that make such personalization possible. How do companies stay far enough ahead in their digital initiatives to provide the kind of customer service that differentiates good retailers from great ones? As you examine your own customer data technologies, consider solution providers that:

  • Have been digital for more than a few years and have established a deep expertise
  • Believe in using open-source platforms for customer insight
  • Offer more than a handful of predictive algorithms and customer attributes
  • Use a variety of advanced visualization frameworks
  • Understand master data management (MDM) and use multiple MDM technologies
  • Offer expertise in content management systems

Most important, digital providers should not present you with out-of-the-box packages. They should support whichever model your company picks in order to ensure more value-added services. Ultimately, your company deserves solutions as personalized as the services you offer to your customers.

To find out more about the future of digital customer service, download the Mindtree e-book Are You Living in a Digital Fairy Tale? Make Digital Real.

Bappaditya Banerjee

Bappaditya Banerjee leads Retail Industry Solutions in Mindtree's Digital Business. He has led Omni-channel personalization, Loyalty, Digital Marketing and Consumer Experience programs for Tesco for over a decade. Bappaditya has a career spanning more than 15 years working with retailers across in US, Europe and APAC.