The retail omnichannel is not easy, but it is possible

Retail Week recently ran some analysis on the way that customers are treated across various channels. As the number of channels customers can use to reach a brand has exploded beyond just voice and email alone brands have had to manage this multichannel environment – or be accused of ignoring the customer.

But the multichannel environment creates new complexities when managing customer expectations. It’s all very well to offer a voice, email, Twitter, chat, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest option for interaction, but customers now expect all these channels to be integrated.

The classic example of this was when high-street brands started launching websites where products could be purchased. The online experience was usually entirely different to the experience in-store. Now that dozens of channels exist, allowing in-store and online shoppers to interact with the brand in many different ways there is a need to create an ‘omnichannel’ – one single view of communication with the customer.

The Retail Week analysis concludes that for any new retailer this is how their communications would be designed from day one, but for those who already have a large network of shops and traditional communication channels, much more thinking is needed.

It’s not impossible though. The work we are undertaking at Teleperformance with many retail clients shows that even the major players can build an omnichannel strategy, no matter how long they have been in the business. After all, customer service is not just about the technology you are using, it’s about the way your team interacts with the customer.

Selfridges Store, Birmingham

 Photo by David Jones licensed under Creative Commons

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