Tuesday, January 27, 2009

SPOTLIGHT ON RETAIL: Growing Your Retail Business Through Effective Communication Management

Engagement is a growing concern in the retail space. Current market conditions have put an emphasis on engaging customers and being able to communicate with them instantaneously in order to meet and exceed their needs. As consumer confidence and spending decreases, retailers must be doing their utmost to ensure that they are communicating with their customers effectively in order to retain and increase revenues. Those retailers who are successful in engagement and who implement processes to ensure a proper flow of communicationwill continue to grow even as the economy hits road-blocks.

Typical communications systems within the retail sector are ever evolving and include informative corporate web sites, e-commerce, email, automated attendant, custom call routing (CCR), wireless and mobile services. All these modes of communications should serve to enhance the customer experience. After all, the ultimate goal is to quickly and efficiently service the needs of the customer while maximizing return.

The technological enhancements that many retailers introduce, can often serve as a detriment to engagement as opposed to facilitating interaction. It is imperative to utilize a concise communication management system (CMS) to qualify the exchange of information.

Many retail stores are equipped with the latest automated attendant, interactive voice response and custom call routing features that are meant to encourage customer loyalty through personal and helpful interactions. But how does a retailer measure whether customers are accessing relevant and useful information through these systems and not ending up with the wrong departments, or worse, being disconnected.

A communication management system can provide the retailer with concise management reporting to truly distinguish whether the communications systems employed are creating an effective retail experience. The communicaitons management system should be able to accurately reflect which departments are receiving the most calls, how many transfers customers are making before they reach a final destination and how much time the customer spends on hold. These metrics can assist retailers in redesiging auto attendants and CCR tree programming in order to enhance the customer experience and differentiate themselves from the competition.

For retail stores that have a cookie cutter approach to each of their stores, a communication management solution can provide statistics on which stores benefit from a “one size fits all” approach. Traffic management is essential in determining the busiest or peak time periods which can vary based on market and geographic segementation. Communication management reporting may build cause to differentiate how communication systems are used throughout various branches/locations.

Other metrics that can be provided through a communication management solution include ring time, abandoned calls and grade of service analysis. These statistics can assist in understanding call blockage and facility usage along with staffing levels throughout certain times of day and seasons throughout the year.

In an ever competitive retail environment, forward-thinking communications managers realize a call management system can yield significant benefits to the corporation. These benefits include; measuring ROI on telecommunication investments, determining customer trends, analyzing peak hours and staffing levels, and above all ensuring that communications systems employed are resulting in positive customer engagement.

Resource Software International Ltd. (RSI) is a leader in communication management solutions for every enterprise. We specialize in multi-vendor, multi-platform applications that serve to analyze, reconcile and consolidate communication expenses for a concrete picture of the lifeline of your business.

RSI is an Avaya DevConnect Gold Member, Cisco Technology Partner, Nortel Developer Parnter in addition to a series of other relationships. We have got you covered!

Visit our website at: http://www.telecost.com