How to improve customer service without compromising social distancing

Article by Olivia Robinson | 8th September 2020

More people are shopping online. But the vast majority of sales still happen in stores. Despite the excitement over eCommerce, 85% of retail sales still happen in bricks and mortar.

Over the last few months, social distancing has changed the way we all interact. The customer journey has transformed. Customers are now asked to take responsibility for acting safely in store, queuing to enter and following new store layouts. Whereas in the past a customer might take their time shopping, the length of time spent in stores has declined. Customers don’t want to wait for questions to be answered. But we don’t think these conditions should dampen customer service. Here’s why:

Better technology enables colleagues to support customers through Click & Collect, self-checkout and queuing, without compromising colleague safety.

Customers prefer self-service for speedier checkout, 81% of customers prefer to shop this way. Social distancing could improve customer satisfaction if enough SCO points are available. 

Better communication means customer questions can still be answered, but more quickly, without having to search for the relevant colleague.

A connected, empowered team

Good customer service relies on empowered colleagues. We’ve measured the impact of installing a VoCoVo ecosystem, and on average it makes colleagues 50% happier. A team that can regularly and easily check in with each other, are far more likely to be able to deal with customers positively. 

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Managing the ‘new normal’

The past year has shaped customer behaviour in extraordinary ways. Expectations are higher. Loyalty has shifted, with customers preferring closer, ‘safer’ shopping environments to their traditional preferences. Studies show that now, location is the single biggest determinant of where people shop.

We’ve also seen the development of new apps, allowing customers to check queues in shops before they leave, further changing traditional buyer behaviour.

Reassured, supported customers

Research suggests that customers now look for technology in stores, preferring to shop in outlets with visible security cameras and obvious queuing systems. Customer service in a post-COVID world is less about price, more about protecting everyone’s welfare. A connected team is able to communicate faster, deal with problems more quickly and reassure anxious customers that colleagues are supporting them.

VoCoVo cares about helping your teams face uncertainty together. Talk to us today, to find out how we can help you introduce better communication techniques.

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