Now that the holiday shopping season is in full swing, it’s important to pay attention to what channels your customers are using to talk to you. How does a shopper reach out when they want to know how late the store is open, or where you are located, or if you have anything that would be a good gift for a hard-to-buy-for person? They have several options:
- In person
- Social Media
As a business owner, it’s important to know what channels customers are using, and what they’re using each channel for. A shopper may check social media find out store hours but want to talk to someone face to face about placing a special order; the customer who made a purchase on your website may call the store to inquire about returns.
Websites, social media and texting analytics make it easier to understand exactly how busy those channels are; you may need to delve deeper into the data to identify topics of conversation and how frequently those conversations occur. Those of you who are using chatbots have a rich additional source of data. Tracking the number and nature of in person and phone call communications from your customer can require a little more effort, but it is information you want to have. Documenting even a day or two’s worth of customer behavior will provide objective information that may or may not line up with what your assumptions about these channels are.
Monitoring what channels your customers are using to contact you makes it easier to determine how you need to deploy your staff’s time. It takes time to answer text messages and respond to social media postings; that’s part the reason why businesses are using chatbots to answer common basic questions.
You can also learn something about your customers and the way they use technology from their choice of communication channels. Millennials are widely reported to prefer text and email to phone calls; a Baby Boomer may reach out to you on Facebook – or, if they’re really pleased or upset – write you a letter.
Collect data throughout the holiday shopping season. Once January arrives, you can review it and use the insights you collect to help make communication decisions for the upcoming year, to provide the level of service you want to give your customers in the most cost-effective way.