Retailers minds nowadays are filled with visions of the perfect omni-channel customer experience. They aspire to pave for their customers a seamless journey across all physical and digital channels. Clearly this isn't just about customer satisfaction (although that is always a welcome option!); the goal is to maximize revenues. And we know that any obstacle that makes the customer journey less enjoyable, quickly becomes an exit point for them – in other words, a lost opportunity for the business. Customers do not appreciate a bumpy ride between the brand's different channels.
The transition between digital and physical channels is a particularly challenging part of the omni-channel journey. It’s important to make it as smooth as possible. Regardless of the specific line of business – banking, telecom, or other types of retail – customers tend to close the most valuable deals in the physical environment – the branch or store, facing a reliable, flesh and blood representative of the brand, and –when applicable--holding the actual product in their hands.
The challenge involves taking customers from the comfort of their homes and digital devices (smartphones and computers), to the outside world. The customer journey in this case involves more than just "website – digital interaction – physical store". It is actually "website – digital interaction – get dressed – leave home – drive car – find parking space"… You get the picture. The brick-and-mortar experience involves quite a lot of bricks.
This is where appointment scheduling takes the role of Mr. Smooth, making things easy and cool. Yes, we could tell customers "hey, just go the store and wait for staff to assist you" – thus adding to the trip an element of uncertainty - “Does the store have the item I’m looking for? Will I be assisted quickly and will staff be efficient or will I wait hours?” – uncertainty made worse with the additional frustration of basically starting the transaction from scratch.
OR… we can tell the customer "we’ll book an appointment for you. Tell us what time would be suitable for you to come to the store and when you arrive we’ll wait for you and resume the transaction exactly where you left off on the digital channel." Imagine that! – no unnecessary waiting, no uncertainty, no frustration. Just the seamless continuation of the digital experience. Exactly what we all want.
That is the holy grail of the omni-channel retail experience. One channel handing the customer off to the next - no obstacles, no painful jumping around, and no lost revenue for the business.
Learn more about Q-nomy's approach to Omni-Channel Retail -