Any retailer knows today’s consumers expect the best, and they won’t stay loyal for long if they don’t get it. Influenced by social trends and empowered by technology, customers want every retailer to deliver a high quality, seamless experience. For some retailers, this reality poses challenges—smaller companies have to get creative and nimble as they compete against the big companies that are setting a high bar for customer expectation. One thing retailers can all agree on is that one of the most important aspects of an outstanding customer experience is excellent customer service.

Delivering the best possible customer experience is just the start; retailers have to track and measure key metrics along the customer experience continuum if they want to stay on top.

As a recent IDC survey of retail companies illustrates, there’s room to improve how thoroughly retailers measure their customers’ experiences. According to that study, only 54% of retailers currently measure how well they address customers’ questions before those customers make a purchase. 58% measure their performance answering customer questions about returns and refunds.

Customer service is much more than just a friendly voice on the other end of the phone. Retailers—particularly omni-channel retailers—understand that consumers weigh a host of factors when they make purchasing decisions, from quality and price to website navigation and delivery. Customer service ranks high among those. Here’s why customer service is going to matter even more in the future:

  • Customer expectations are rising, regardless of price.
  • Competitors are selling products consumers believe to be better than yours.
  • There’s competitive pressure on price and price image.
  • Retailers are proactively raising the customer service bar, empowered by new tools.
  • Competitors are upping their game.

It’s clear that the impact of customer service on retail businesses will increase even more in the future, as customer service expands its capacity to create brand value, build customer loyalty, and grow revenue. The imperative for retailers is clear: Better measurement and assimilation of data across the customer experience.

To learn more, download Customer Service’s Role in Creating Excellent Customer Experiences

Read more: