How Retailers Are Approaching Customer Communications

When it comes to driving customer loyalty through the post-purchase experience, you know we have a pretty strong POV. But, we recognize that, as we all navigate this ever-evolving landscape of customer expectations, there’s no magic formula for delighting them. So, during our webinar Narvar & Forrester: Trends Shaping the Future of Retail Customer Communications, hosted by Sucharita Kodali, Vice President and Principal Retail Analyst at Forrester, and Andria Tay, Director of Marketing at Narvar, we asked you what you include in your current strategy.

Keep them coming back for more

Any combination of tactics could inspire your best customers to continue to patronize your business. Each touchpoint, from a notification about earned points to a simple thank you note, adds to the good feeling that drives a repeat purchase. In this age when points and discounts are becoming table stakes, the good news is many retailers are investing in customer experience and support to follow through on brand promises and drive loyalty. Many also thank their customers either through email or in-package notes.

Those thank yous go a long way. A Narvar study showed that 61 percent of customers say a simple acknowledgment of their business is all they need to make them more satisfied after a purchase. We’ve also found that, if the item itself doesn’t satisfy, fast replacement of lost or damaged items and quick refunds are highly appreciated and drive repeat business.

Email is dead…?

“No one reads email anymore. It’s all about SMS. Or social. Or some other new and shiny thing.” On the contrary: we shared that, according to our research, email is NOT dead, and consumers want to hear from you via multiple channels when it’s about critical information like package status. The good news is that 80% of you agree that you should send two or three emails to your customers post-purchase. It may surprise you to learn that your customers want more. When it comes to status notifications after a purchase, consumers say the more the better.

More than 80% of customers we surveyed expect regular communication about their purchases. Customers can’t wait to receive their packages and don’t want to have to chase the information down, so keep them in the know of where they are and when they will arrive—consistently.

Feeling chatty

The use of chatbots is nascent but climbing, with 29% of customers using or planning to use a chatbot to shop online. Yet, almost half of our webinar attendees do not use any form of chat (live with either a human or a bot).

If you’re part of that half, you may want to take a closer look at chat. For 66% of the consumers we surveyed, the always-on aspect of a chatbot is appealing. Nearly 60% said they like not having to wait on hold. A quarter of them prefer a chatbot over having to talk to a person.

Before you dive headfirst into creating a chat feature, consider the types of chat and best uses. According to Sucharita:

  • Consumers appreciate live chat, especially when they can’t find what they’re looking for on your site.
  • Proactive live chat, which uses an algorithm to detect when a customer has been on a page too long or is encountering an error message, allows you to check in and help remove a roadblock to checkout.
  • Automated live chat starts with a detection algorithm. The first couple of exchanges are with a bot, then switches over to a live human when the situation calls for more hand-holding.
  • Automated live chat tools such as Facebook messenger are ideal for simple, repeatable task, such as data pulls and answering “Where is my order?”

We’re not done yet

During the webinar our hosts shared even more rich data and analysis, including the state of voice-activated devices and what retailers should keep in mind, what information is important to convey on your site, and how returns can be a critical opportunity. Watch now.