The use of multi-channel customer service is already a reality in retailers’ stores. However, although it seems simple and practical, as it happens with e-commerce, there are many Omnichannel challenges in the customer service chain. This is due to the fact that each sale depends exclusively on the customer’s wish. For example, if the customer wants to buy a product online and collect it in the nearest store, in a certain way the customer wants to take advantage of the possibilities of online purchase, such as not talking to a salesperson, or not making lines when having to pay the product.
In the same way, we must join this idea to the benefits of the physical store – such as not having to wait for a long delivery time — very common fact in an occidental country like Brazil. Though the transition seems easy, many companies invest more in physical store processes, as customer service, or inventory or even the type management system for their warehouse. All this is very important, but a multi-channel solution which brings the best practices of this demand must be considered.
However, the retailer who wants to be successful must have an omnichannel strategy, which offers complete solutions in the physical store, online, in the warehouse, and even in distribution, to guarantee, not only that the client will receive the product on time buying it in the most advantageous way, but also that the proper retailer can use the supply chain in the most efficient possible way.
While Omnichannel logistics, that will integrate all those needs, can seem the answer to the consumer’s request, it brings some obstacles and challenges which, if the company is not prepared, they can cause terrible headaches to the retailers and frustrate the customers.
Check 5 important points for a successful omnichannel customer service strategy:
#1 Trace segmented supply chain processes
If a retailer’s supply chain processes are not integrated, how guarantee the customer’s satisfaction in all the line? There is no way how. Big retailers own many distribution centers, managed by different internal and outsourced operators who operate on different systems and therefore employ different tactics to ensure that their supply chain runs smoothly.The solution is to consolidate these processes with a single system that manages the interests of the multi – channel consumer.
#2 Have inventory visibility
Identification, tracking and inventory management are key competencies in retail for omnichannel demand. Supply chain visibility and material accuracy are critical requirements for Omnichannel operations and allow the retailer to know where their inventory is at all times. New standards, such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), integrated into a management system, enables retailers to obtain inventory accuracy in real time.
#3 Make Web-Ready products
Turning products into Web-Ready (ready for the web) is an important component to operate omnichannel successfully. However, many retailers still find it difficult to pass this information, due to lack of precision or standardization, mainly of photographs of the products.
Have you ever visited websites and had trouble knowing details of a product? This certainly happened due to lack of investment in online customer service. Making your products ready for the online universe provides product identification base and enhances the customer experience.
#4 Sophisticated In-store services
Omnichannel solution offers the client all the necessary functionalities to meet the mix of acquired products, whether it is in the store, in the warehouse or in the inventory. A specialized solution has resources for a better management of orders from the clients, both in physical and online store – allowing better organization in the delivery of the products that are in stock.
The result is reduced costs and faster delivery, as distribution points are moved closer to consumers, providing service wherever and however the client wants.
#5 Integrate strategies into a single solution
It is not enough to use only the conventional customer service methods, such as use of store inventory, store ordering service, focusing on a specific system just for the establishment. A multi – channel management system must meet all consumer requirements.
It should not only focus on the physical store, but also integrate all channels efficiently and transform the store into a distribution center.
No matter which the sales channel is, Omnichannel solution offers the customer a complete experience in the purchasing and selling process and makes the shopkeeper’s life easier. Nevertheless, there are also many challenges and they demand companies to have the ability to return purchases made online at the physical store and still maintain a consistent price in all channels.
That is why, for a company to become a benchmark in omnichannel, and have its entire chain integrated, investment in technology is essential, and the only reason is to manage the best way to satisfy consumer’s needs. Processing information, keeping contact with the customer and even balancing purchase media integration depend on an effective multi – channel warehouse management system. It is important that organizations pay attention to this reality to stay competitive.