Why retailers like Showpo are investing in customer service

There is a considerable disconnect between the way businesses and consumers view the customer journey, according to a global survey of over 5000 business leaders and consumers conducted by US-based software firm, LogMeIn.

The company published the results of the survey last week, revealing that one third of consumers were not impressed with their
customer journey, citing an average or poor experience.

Eighty-three per cent of consumers said they had at least one issue while interacting with a brand. Despite this, 80 per cent of
businesses said they believed customers would give them a favourable review.

While retail leads the pack when it comes to providing a good customer experience, alongside the travel and hospitality industries, just 58 per cent of consumer survey respondents rated their experience highly in each of these sectors.

One of the biggest drivers of a poor customer experience was the average time to resolution, which LogMeIn found to be 11
hours, nearly three times higher than the wait time consumers cited as being acceptable.

More than two thirds (68 per cent) of businesses said they believe their agents struggle with the volume of customer requests.

That statistic rings true to Mark Baartse, chief marketing officer of online women’s fashion retailer Showpo, which recently overhauled its help desk, including investing in new software and automation, to ensure its customer service team can scale to meet an influx of requests.

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The move comes after the retailer experienced a logistics glitch earlier this year, which led thousands of customers to enquire about the status of their orders, overwhelming the customer service team and requiring the whole company to pitch in to resolve.

The company recently refined its returns process based off certain questions the customer service team was answering over and over to prevent a similar situation from happening again.

This was part of a broad analysis that Showpo conducted to identify areas where it could improve systems and processes to eliminate certain customer service requests altogether.

“Nobody actually wants to contact customer service,” Baartse told IRW.

Showpo’s investment is in line with LogMeIn’s finding that 61 per cent of businesses will allocate more budget to new solutions specifically designed for customer engagement over the next 12 months.

Thirty-five per cent of businesses have already invested in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, with another 53 per cent planning to do so.

Companies anticipate these investments will increase customer satisfaction, resolve issues more quickly, provide a more personalised experience and increase agent satisfaction levels.

Over 70 per cent of consumer respondents said they want brands to leverage technology to reduce time to resolution.

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