How can retailers increase customer communication?

Shoppers and retailers today have more communication channels available to them than ever before. Whether it’s targeted emails or a disgruntled tweet, retailers need to ensure they are both contactable and contacting shoppers in the right way.

Chief executive of ContactEngine Dr Mark K Smith says: “It may sound obvious, but many retailers fail to take into account that customers are busy during the day and the chances of reaching them are substantially lower than in the evening.”

“Secondly, get back to basics. If you want to increase contact, don’t rely on post or emails. People react best to the ring and ping of a mobile phone, and are far more likely to respond to a retailer if it’s a quick SMS or call during the right hours.”

Smith added that offering a seamless experience for shoppers is often neglected by retailers after their customers make a purchase, instead directing shoppers to use their app, email or contact number. Smith stresses that this prohibits return visits from shoppers, which in turn reduces customer engagement and loyalty.

“Customers don’t want to make an effort and they especially don’t want lengthy conversations; they simply want to be kept in the loop,” said Smith.

“This is particularly true if things do go wrong. They want to know quickly and they want to know the solution.

“Take a light-touch approach in your communications, be lightning fast in your response and activate the electronic processes to fix the problem.”