On Black Friday alone, shoppers spent about $5 billion online, and these numbers skyrocketed on Cyber Monday, with consumers spending about $6.6 billion online. The holidays are in full swing, meaning crazy deals and even crazier shopper expectations — and retailers must ensure their websites are equipped with the right technologies and resources to handle the chaos now and throughout the holiday season.
Here are the three biggest customer experience issues retailers might run into this December — and tips for how they can use artificial intelligence technologies to get ahead of these challenges to ensure they’re spreading holiday cheer, not leaving their customers with a grinch-like experience.
Don’t leave customers in the cold — Providing consistent support across every touchpoint
Today’s shoppers are engaging with retailers across a variety of touchpoints — from browsing a mobile app to seeing the newest products on Instagram to actually trying out items in-store. Therefore, brands must ensure they’re implementing the right tools that make support accessible and consistent across every touchpoint.
Take, for example, a shopper who completed a purchase through a retailer’s mobile application. A couple of days later, she might come across a Facebook post displaying the product she bought, prompting her to go looking for an update on the status of her order — and forcing her to rummage through email or log back into her account on the mobile app. AI-driven chatbots on the Facebook platform can instead, access the customer history and provide the most up-to-date alert on the shipment and expected arrival date. This removes the need to flip between different channels, therefore mitigating customer frustration and making for a happy holiday shopping experience.
Don’t let the chaos take control — Ensuring support processes are efficient
One of the biggest issues customers face during the holidays is difficulty in getting answers to questions. Whether they want more information about a specific product or upcoming promotion, finding the answers to these simple, yet important questions can be a frustrating task. And waiting on hold for a representative can make customers feel like their issues don’t matter to a brand.
Chatbot technology solves this major issue, especially during the holidays where retailers face a high volume of questions from shoppers. With a knowledge base of information on retailer policies, products and promotions, as well as natural language processing capabilities that help them understand the context of almost any customer situation, bots create a strong channel for customers to self-serve and find fast answers to their quick questions.
Don’t forget to create a connection — Personalization is the best present
There’s nothing worse than feeling unappreciated. The holiday season is all about being grateful and spreading cheer. This is why it’s important that retailers create connections with the shoppers, who are the lifeblood of their business.
Personalization is a term that is often thrown around in the retail space today, but it’s so much more than just offering recommendations on products to buy. To create a truly tailored shopping experience, retailers must ensure they have the right technologies in place to really get to know each customer and their preferences. Using this detailed information will allow them to provide a tailored engagement every time they come to a brand’s website or connect with one of their CX team members. Take for example, a customer who always pays extra for expedited shipping on their orders. Should something go wrong with a specific package and they speak with a customer service representative, the agent can understand this preference (and the customer’s loyalty to the brand) and improve the situation by offering free expedited shipping on their next five orders.
This holiday season, retailers won’t wow customers by just providing killer deals and discounts — the key to success — even beyond the holidays — will be in creating a strong customer experience by recognizing shopper needs and providing the right tools to keep shoppers happy and loyal.