Consumers crave personal service tailored to meet their unique needs. This is increasingly true when it comes to shopping with retail brands. Whether it’s a customer’s first or fiftieth brand interaction, a retailer’s ability to deliver a seamless customer service experience across channels is critical to maintaining consumer loyalty.

The growing fluidity between digital and in-store experiences has created a new retail landscape in which brands are expected to quickly and accurately meet customer needs in the moment, whether in-person or online. Most retail brands acknowledge the importance of elevating customer experience, but many are not leveraging the potential of their contact centres as a driver for it or the critical role agents play in delivering it.

Chris Wyper Director, Global Industry Strategy, Retail + Consumer Goods at Talkdesk

Retailers are beginning to make investments in CX to strengthen their contact centre capabilities, but disjointed processes, limited customer insights, and workforce constraints continue to create barriers to a seamless customer journey. A recent Talkdesk Research report shows that nearly 60% of consumers describe their most recent retail customer service experience as ‘not personalised’ to them, while 49% do not believe retailers are able to deliver excellent customer experiences in a completely digital way. While it’s clear that personalisation demands are rising among consumers, interestingly, only 30% of retail contact centres are using Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered tools to help them deliver that highly-valued personalisation.

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Bridging this critical gap will require not only implementation of the AI-powered tools available to meet and exceed customer expectations, but also a paradigm shift in the way a contact centre operates. Instead of viewing the contact centre as simply a facility to handle calls or digital interactions, retailers need to embrace the opportunity to capture and use data to help provide customers and agents the best experience possible.

For example, when deployed correctly, conversational AI can handle routine calls, allowing agents to focus on more complex interactions to gain a deeper understanding of what customers want. In turn, customers will value this level of service and engagement, especially if they are seeking to resolve a query or issue.

The added insights and wealth of product and services feedback AI-powered solutions can harness will help brands develop a more complete CX strategy, with the number one driver of consumer loyalty at its core – resolution of customer service issues on first contact.