What Can a Customer Forgive?
A restaurant customer orders her favorite dish and it arrives slightly cold.
A business traveller’s evening flight is delayed.
A shopper comes into a store excited to buy a product and can’t find it in her size.
Which of these scenarios will cost the company a loyal customer? The answer is all of them, or none of them. Mistakes in business are inevitable. When they occur, retaining a customer is often determined by what happens next. How issues are resolved can break a customer relationship or strengthen it by turning a negative situation into a positive one. The one thing customers can’t forgive is poor service. One of the keys to offering great experiences often comes down to having the right technology.
The out-of-stock scenario
Let’s return to the shopper we described above: She comes to the store having received an email about her favorite brand of shoes being on sale. This is what she’s been waiting for. Adrenaline is pumping. She smiles and asks for a size 8. There are none to be found.
According to Manhattan Associates research, 57% of consumers said they go to stores to get a product “there and then”. So the fact the product isn’t in the store probably leaves them disappointed. However, all is not lost. If your retail technology gives the store associate a single view of inventory, he or she can find the item somewhere in the network. Not only will this save the sale, it will likely build customer loyalty by enabling the associate to help our customer leave the store satisfied.
69% of consumers said they expect retailers to have IT systems that can locate and deliver products, no matter where they are within the supply chain. Do you have the visibility to meet this expectation?
Today’s shoppers interact with retailers in many ways – in the store, on a website, via a call centre – and through a wide range of fulfilment options. For them, it’s never about the channel, they simply want their items as easily as possible. So when problems arise, how you solve them is key.
Here’s an example: A customer wants to return part of an online order in the store, add some in-store purchases and apply a digital coupon to the order. This type of request could result in the need for multiple transactions, a lot of time and a potentially frustrated customer. But technology that delivers a single view of the customer – all of her orders, buying history and more – turns a complicated transaction into a seamless success.
According to research from Retail Week, done in partnership with Manhattan Associates, only 47% of retailers say they have a single view of the customer and stock. Are your systems up to the task?
Changing times require advanced solutions
A shopper can forgive a lot of things when dealing with a retailer – except bad customer service. Technology solutions designed specifically for omnichannel commerce give your company a single view of inventory and customers. That visibility helps you locate items, arrange purchases, resolve issues like returns or exchanges, and much more. Every successful interaction rewards customers’ faith in you. And that’s a win for your business.
Manhattan Associates has industry-leading technology to help retailers Push Possible™. Our constant investment in R&D ensures that Manhattan Active™ solutions give you the ability to gain efficiencies and deliver extraordinary experiences.
After all, a customer can forgive many things, but bad customer service is not one of them.