How to get answers to customers faster

Ecommerce has made customers more impatient than ever. We can help you to keep up.

Article by John Hicks | 7th June 2022

The UK is losing its patience. While a 2018 study found us to be the 10th most patient country in the world, a recent poll shows that this may be changing. The survey found that two fifths of British adults were generally impatient in life, with common causes of frustration including public transport delays and slow internet service. 

This is certainly true when it comes to retail. The pandemic made online shopping the norm, and this has shifted customer expectations for physical retail. Shoppers have grown used to speed and convenience, as our recent poll showed:

  • Over a quarter of customers will leave a store if they haven’t been served within five minutes
  • 25% would use physical stores more if service was faster
  • Slow service is the most common reason for shouting at colleagues, accounting for 30% of incidents 

Read the full report here:

Customers won’t wait for information

This impatience also extends to finding product information. Modern customers are increasingly likely to turn to the internet rather than a colleague:

  • 42% would rather use their phones to find information in store
  • 21% will leave a store to do research at home

This isn’t a problem if customers still make their final purchase in store. But if customers are researching a product online, there’s a good chance they will buy it there too. 50% of shoppers have purchased a product online while still in store, and many more will do so at home. 

In order to compete with ecommerce, you need to make sure that colleagues are the first port of call for customer queries. VoCoVo bridges the gap between colleagues and customers, so that you can answer their questions in record time. Here’s how it works. 

Link the stockroom to the shop floor

Click & Collect has grown rapidly over the last two years, and is expected to be worth almost £10 billion by 2023. As such, checking on the status of an order has become one of the most common customer queries. 

This can present a problem, especially in larger stores. Customers have to find a colleague and then wait while they walk to the stockroom and back. For a purchase that started online, this final phase can seem agonisingly slow. Luckily, there is a better way:

  • Headsets allow floor colleagues to contact warehouse colleagues at the push of a button
  • Colleagues can check if an order has arrived without walking to the stockroom, and relay this information to the customer immediately

Ask the experts

Customers will often ask floor colleagues for product information. This can be a problem for newer colleagues who are still learning. They are faced with the choice of leaving the customer to find a more knowledgeable colleague, or trying to answer the question to the best of their ability. Neither option is ideal:

  • 43% of colleagues admit to giving customers inaccurate information in order to provide an answer
  • 26% say that searching for more knowledgeable colleagues is the biggest cause of inefficiency on the shop floor

Whether you keep a customer waiting or give them inaccurate information, the end result is the same- they will be less likely to ask for help in the future. This can damage sales by costing you valuable upselling opportunities. 

Our headsets solve this problem by putting a wealth of information at your fingertips:

  • Colleagues can speak directly to in-store experts without having to track them down
  • Our conference feature lets you create separate channels for specific areas of knowledge, allowing you to answer complex questions faster
  • Headsets can be used to train newer colleagues on the job, building up their knowledge as they work

Find out more about training with VoCoVo:

This is exactly what happened in Boots. After VoCoVo was installed, customers were 300% more confident in colleagues’ ability to answer their questions. Colleagues were also able to respond to queries 67% faster. 

For more tips on streamlining customer service, don’t hesitate to get in touch

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