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A True 1:1 Channel: Introducing Service-Led Retail

For years in marketing, we’ve set our sights on 1:1 engagement, moving from the dark days of batch-and-blast to segmentation and into truly personalized messages.

Likewise, in commerce, evolving from ‘one-for-all’ to targeted landing pages and personalized product recommendations have made a big impact. 

But meanwhile, the true 1:1 channel has been too often overlooked: service

Many brands and retailers relegated service to a line of defense that reacts to issue resolution and skews towards fielding WISMOs (where is my order?). 

But today, customer service can be so much more than just putting out fires. In fact, your service team can become a massive differentiator for your brand. How? Let us introduce you to service-led retail.  

Centering customer service

Shoppers are raising their hand and noting that service truly makes a difference when engaging with a retailer. In fact, 57% of shoppers cited customer service as the primary reason for choosing a retailer over Amazon or those Insta-hit DNVBs. 

And the successful retailers are making fantastic service a reality. Stitch Fix reinvented the retail model and is seeing massive success with its 3 million active shoppers by putting a stylist at the front of the engagement (with a healthy dose of help from data science) and recommending products just for you. 

It harkens back to the day when you walked into a shop, and the clerk (or owner) knew their customers well enough to make an informed (and well-received) product recommendation. Meanwhile, those retailers with little-to-no discernible service strategy, such as Toys-R-Us and JCPenny are either in recession or have exited the market.

Lead with service

There is clearly a new retail imperative to lead with service and immerse relevance throughout the customer service engagement. Working with the Zendesk Sunshine platform, Zaius is bringing Service-led Retail to life.  Sunshine, launched in November, is built on the AWS public cloud and enables you to get a complete picture of the customer. Sunshine is also flexible and agile, giving you the ability to innovate and scale your customer experience with your business.

Leveraging all the rich customer data that Zaius has — including customer profile data, browsing history and even behavioral predictions — brands can now put the customer intelligence into the hands of their service agents through Zendesk’s open platform. 

This represents a true democratization of data across the entire retail organization. Now, data is accessible to the roles that require intelligence to deliver great experiences; no more data silos. 

With Service-led Retail, service teams can understand and recognize more shoppers, going beyond knowing only an email address. While responding to a ticket, agents have access to personalized product recommendations and can — in one click — include a product image and link directly in the reply.

Give your service team deep buyer insights

Additionally, agents can see every customers’ recent activity – including browsing and even products a shopper has added to cart. Thanks to the complete customer view contextualized to the agent:customer interaction, brands are turning a cost center into a satisfaction-boosting profit center. 

And, shoppers are winning too. Since agents have enhanced visibility, gone are the days of repeating information throughout the call or chat. Instead, the agent can act as a personal shopper, guiding a customer through a terrific experience. 

Service-Led Retail

It’s easy to see how this data can be incredibly powerful in the hands of your customer support team. Instead of just solving a problem, service can now:

  • Better serve high-value and long-term customers
  • Recommend personalized new product releases
  • Share relevant brand information 
  • …and much more.

Service-led Retail is currently in a limited release by invitation only. Interested in participating in our charter program? Click here to learn more.

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