How to Maximize Human Interaction in Wireless Retail
Technology has evolved to become a critical part of our everyday lives, and this digital transformation is affecting every aspect of society—including wireless retail. But, even as businesses transition toward technology, nearly 70 percent of consumers say they’re still looking for true human interaction during the sales process.
While the retail industry has had to constantly transform throughout its history, customers’ desire for a great service experience hasn’t changed a bit. Here’s how wireless retailers can meet the challenges of digital transformation and still maintain interpersonal relationships with customers.
Keep it personal
Today’s technology offers a lot of options to communicate with consumers, tools like live chat and social media. But even with access to these convenient resources, 86 percent of consumers still prefer face-to-face or real-time voice communication for their service needs. If a consumer purchases a wireless device and experiences an issue or has a question, a chatbot shouldn’t be the only option available for help – a warmer, real-time service experience should always be just a phone call away.
Focus on the people
Thirty-two percent of business executives agree that retaining existing customers is a priority. If you’re looking to avoid customer turnover, it starts with establishing a customer-centric company culture. This is especially true in a highly technical industry like wireless where focus has shifted toward self-care options and away from personal interactions.
One of the most effective ways to make this change is through proper employee training. This includes teaching employees how to recognize and deal with specific customer emotions. For example, if a customer exhibits aggressive body language and tone, employees need to know how to diffuse a tense situation and offer expedient solutions. Role-playing and similar training methods are a great way to teach these skills.
Create the right combination
Finding the balance between human interaction and digital transformation can be a challenge—but there are ways for retailers to find the sweet spot. One way is to allow customers to control certain parts of their experience. We’re all familiar with the wait time when we visit a busy wireless store – it can sometimes seem like hours before questions get answered. In an effort to reduce these kinds of experiences, wireless retailers should consider guiding customers to book an appointment window online. This can limit stressful foot traffic for sales associates, while also boosting customer service efficiency.
Though the wireless industry is built on technology, it’s critical that retailers maintain another kind of connectivity—the human kind. To keep customers coming back, wireless retailers should build a customer-centric culture which emphasizes personal interactions while still offering a unique digital experience.
Jon Mikow is Vice President of Wireless at Fortegra Financial Corporation (a Tiptree Inc. company). Fortegra® and its subsidiaries comprise a single-source insurance services provider that offers a range of consumer protection options including warranty solutions, credit insurance, and specialty underwriting programs. Delivering multifaceted coverage with an unmatched service experience for domestic and international partners and their customers, Fortegra solves immediate, everyday needs, empowering consumers to worry less and Experience More.