The Retail Report for May provides retail customer insights from a survey of 500 online shoppers designed to understand their experiences across the customer service journey from digital properties to the contact center. The report shows growing expectations for customer service, and recommends that retailers invest in the tools, technology, and training needed to deliver an excellent customer service experience across the journey.
To assist customers in solving their issues online, retailers are making live chat readily available. About one in six (16%) retail customers who interact with customer service do so via online chat. Of those, 39% say they use it because it conveniently pops up when they’re on the site, up from 29% just a year ago.
Customers find chat helpful if it is with a live agent rather than a chatbot. Half of all customers who use chat say that at least some portion involves interaction with an automated response system (chatbot), compared to just 38% last year. However, retail customers who chat directly with a live agent are 17% more satisfied with customer service than are those who interact with a chatbot either exclusively or partially.
If customers need to call customer service, they expect agents to have all customer information at their fingertips, with access to the history of all prior interactions with the brand. For retail customers who contact customer service, 62% expect the agent to have knowledge of their previous interactions with the brand, and 24% say they expect the agent to see all customer interaction activity regardless of whether the activity was online or at a physical store.
Retailers who do not have the systems to enable agents to view this history can lose significant revenue. Almost one in four (23%) customers said they were less likely to make a purchase when the agent did not have access to their order history.
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