New research has shown UK customers are happy to pay 9% more for a product if it comes to them alongside exemplary customer service.
The findings reveal not only that shoppers are willing to spend more, but also emphasises the value they place on the in-store experience. The research, conducted by Puzzel and cited by the Retail Tech Innovation Hub, confirms the crucial role played by bricks and mortar stores in retailers’ omni-channel offerings.
When it comes to customer service, evidence shows that nothing beats human interaction. Over two in ten (21%) respondents said that in-store was their preferred channel for customer service, followed by email (18%), live web chat (16%) and voice calls (14%).
But customers also place a lot of value on trust: 35% of those questioned felt in-store customer service representatives were more trustworthy than the virtual alternatives.
Following the rise in Zoom video chats between friends and family during the pandemic, consumers are recognising the benefits video can offer within retail, too. A total 54% of respondents who said they had used video calls for customer service said they had a positive experience. Interestingly, 57% said they were relatively new recruits to using video chat for customer service.
Retailers need to step up and deliver a more personalised customer experience – after all, 76% of shoppers expect just that.
In addition, 35% expect customer service agents to have background knowledge about their enquiry, and 23% want to move easily between customer support channels.
In fact, the only sticking point is data: 55% said they did not feel completely comfortable giving retailers and brands permission to collect their personal information.
Speaking about the research findings, Jonathan Allan, CMO at Puzzel explained the extent to which customer expectations and behaviours had changed over the course of the pandemic.
Allan stated: “Despite largely positive experiences during the pandemic, our research reveals a clear requirement for retailers to deliver more personalised customer service, across a broad range of channels, in-store and online.”
He also highlighted the ongoing desire for more human experiences and the importance of “re-creating that in-store experience across digital platforms.”
As we move towards a more hybrid future of retail, the better equipped retailers are to deliver smarter, connected customer experiences, the more likely they will thrive post-pandemic and beyond.
Are you looking for smarter, more personalised ways to connect with your customers? Get in touch with the team at Delta to find out how we can help.
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