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Conversation at the service of customer relations in the retail sector

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

By Edouard S., Digital transformation consultant at Audensiel

Customers are increasingly looking for a unique and personified relationship in order to be supported throughout their buying journey. Two phenomena have accelerated this trend. The first is the advent of digital via new tools such as the chatbot or conversational applications such as whatsapp. The second is the health crisis that we have experienced in recent years and which has resulted in the closure of stores and other places bringing together the public. The brands have therefore been obliged to strengthen their digital systems allowing the continuation of an activity (e-commerce sites) and the relationship with customers (conversational tools).

The user experience, a major challenge for brands

According to an OpinionWay study carried out in 2020, 84% of French people believe that the experience during the purchase and post-purchase is just as important as the product or service sold. According to this same study, 60% of respondents use online messaging or a social network to communicate with the brand. This therefore shows that it is essential for brands to position themselves on this type of tool in order to create a close link with the customer to improve loyalty and satisfaction.

The chatbot stands out among the conversational solutions, in fact 73% of customers have a preference for this technology because it allows a quick response via automation. In addition, it reduces incoming calls to customer services (-30%) which represents savings for brands and relieves these types of services often faced with regular "typical" requests (eg: store openings).

Why are conversational tools becoming essential for brands ?

We can list several arguments that can encourage companies to quickly adopt a conversational tool.

First, it creates a personalized relationship of trust between the brand and the customer, which can be a motivation during the latter's purchase journey. The consumer may indeed be looking for information that can decide him to finalize his purchase. Who better than a sales consultant to respond to customer requests in a detailed and precise manner. Flexibility and speed are also features that improve conversion.

Secondly, and this is a consequence of the first point, it is the improvement in sales that generates revenue for companies. By accompanying the customer from start to finish, by reassuring him or helping him in his choice, the brands make sure to retain him rather than take the risk of seeing him go to a competitor.

Finally, conversational marketing is a very powerful tool to help companies get to know their customers better. All requests can be processed in order to identify the points on which the brand can improve (e.g. identification of a problem on the web or store sales process, improvement of FAQs that are not not precise enough, better segmentation of product universes, etc.). The advantage is also to be able to send the information back to the company's BI tools to carry out more complete analyses.

Which solution for which company ?

There are several players in the conversational marketing market, each with their own specificities. Some are more dedicated to customer relationship services (single distribution of the message) while others are more aimed at a company with a network of points of sale (multi-channel messages).

Each actor can also have a different level of expertise depending on the conversational channels.

It is therefore essential that in the phase of scoping the need, the structure of the company and its specificities are well known. The proposed solution will not be the same if we are addressing a company that aims to strengthen its customer relations service and a company that wishes to provide all of its sales teams with a conversational application.

Knowing the business gestures of the teams targeted on a daily basis is also a key success factor in this type of project, it is not a question of putting the most "innovative" solution but the most adapted which will be quickly taken in hand by the all the employees concerned. Thus, the "change" period will be shorter and more efficient.

Many companies are adopting or strengthening their conversational marketing systems. Audensiel supports you in your digital transformation with the implementation of these systems (from the choice of the solution to the total handling of the tool by the teams).

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