Like many people last year, I purchased a Peloton bike for the first time. But after only a couple of months, I had trouble adjusting the seat height. Just as I was beginning to panic, I remembered my safety net. With such a large purchase, I had opted for the extended warranty.
I immediately jumped on their website and was pleasantly surprised to find many options for contacting someone on the Peloton team, along with helpful video tutorials, FAQs, and blog posts. I decided to chat with a live agent and received an email to schedule a service appointment in a matter of minutes. Within a couple of days, someone from the maintenance team was in my apartment fixing my bike. They even showed me how to prevent the issue from happening again and gave me a few tips on how to better maintain the bike and protect my investment.
I would rate the customer service experience a 10/10, which is not something I say often—especially given the number of negative customer service interactions I experienced over the last year.
As an active consumer in a multi-channel shopping era with an evolving number of purchasing options (BOPIS, online shopping and returns, buy-now pay-later), I’ve come to expect a seamless experience for a retailer to earn my loyalty. And a major component of a brand’s experience today is the quality of customer service they provide.
A service interaction may be the only time a brand actually connects with a customer these days, and consumers expect those experiences to be proactive, personalized, and contextual.
Providing end-to-end customer experiences requires understanding your customer. How long has the customer browsed a particular webpage, searched the same term, or used an application? What have they most recently ordered and how did they pay for it? By investing in the right solution that can consolidate data and surface insights from a customer’s history, retailers can empower customers to manage their order inquires, returns, and exchanges on the channel of their choice.
Customers also expect enhanced purchasing support (such as offering delivery schedules), and retailers need to be able to gather customer feedback in the shortest time possible to inform their responses through solutions like live chat or digital assistants. Presenting customers with a variety of digital service offerings via their preferred channels helps start their experience off on the right foot.
Delivering outstanding customer experiences hinges on arming excellent employees with the right tools to help them perform at their top level. More often than not, customer service agents struggle with complex toolsets and numerous applications, which makes it very difficult to provide quick, real-time solutions to customer inquiries. The answer: Invest in technology solutions that provide a unified view of customer data across sales, marketing, commerce, supply chain, and more that are able to execute processes across these functions.
Rather than rely solely on phone and email communications, SPECIAL.T by Nestlé recognized the need to improve their customer experience by engaging in direct discussions with their customers via a portal with live chat. “Managing our customer interactions with Oracle Service enables us to move very quickly. Instead of worrying about servers and IP addresses, we can implement best practices, features, and functionalities to optimize our customers’ digital experience.”
Over the last few years, automation has reshaped the agent experience. With capabilities like workflow, scripts, next-best-action, and insights, you can prescribe steps, recommendations, and knowledge to agents to drive better outcomes. Enabling your customer service team with the necessary customer information and tools in real time is key to delivering a unified, positive customer experience.
As we’ve all had to adapt to the “next normal,” retailers’ needs have also changed. To deliver connected touchpoints across the customer journey, it’s become imperative to unify front- and back-office applications. If a customer can’t access accurate inventory information or delivery details, they may abandon a purchase or even look to another company to meet their needs. By unifying applications like fulfillment and supply chain, retailers can drive efficiency and profitability while also prioritizing the customer experience.
With Oracle Commerce, “Carmen Steffans is able to update its inventory status immediately after each store or website purchase in Brazil, so that company franchise managers, executives, and shipping and customer service personnel know at all times exactly where products are located and how many are available for sale.” Having access to such real-time data across the organization can mean the difference between creating a satisfied customer or a frustrated one.
Truly knowing and anticipating your customers’ needs requires building a clean, unified customer record that can seamlessly flow across your ecosystem of applications. Your technology solutions should help you adapt with agility and ultimately enhance the customer experience (CX).
With an ever-increasing number of digital engagement channels, retailers have so many ways to connect with customers and keep them engaged with the brand. But to do so effectively requires a highly flexible platform with an omnichannel framework that can faultlessly orchestrate experiences across all channels.
Oracle Service allows you to predict the need for service, automate processes, and deliver tailored responses, while balancing self-service and assisted customer service models. It offers powerful and intelligent B2B, B2C, and field solutions that allow customers to receive the service they want—when and where they need it.
Jessica Kaufman is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Oracle with more than 10 years of industry experience.