Posted by Steve Lippman, Solutions Consultant, NetSuite
Pizza chains and other delivery restaurants are mastering the art and science of the “transactional touch.” Through text messaging, mobile apps and websites, these innovators keep hungry customers up to date on the status of an order, from the moment it’s placed until it arrives at the door.
For instance: Your pizza is in the oven. Your pizza has left for delivery. Your driver should arrive within two minutes. Thank you for your order — enjoy your pizza!
The benefits are many. Real-time food order tracking delivers the transparency that customers crave. It eliminates customer anxiety and frustration while building excitement. And that drives loyalty and repeat business.
Other retailers can take lessons from the pizza delivery pioneers. As it is, many retailers fail to capitalize on opportunities to engage and delight customers throughout the order lifecycle. Basic order confirmation emails and links to third-party carrier tracking are now commoditized. Retailers need to think outside the (pizza) box to differentiate themselves with next-level service.
These three techniques can help retailers elevate the omnichannel customer experience through better order management:
Improve order transparency. With warehouse scanning devices and the right order management solution, retailers can keep customers better informed when a product leaves a distribution facility. For a large item such as a couch or table, retailers can also keep customers happy with real-time updates and narrowing delivery windows from, say, a full afternoon to between 1 and 2 p.m.
It’s also important to work with carriers that offer a high caliber of real-time order tracking. As most retailers recognize, not all carrier order tracking systems are created equal. Assessing a carrier’s order tracking capabilities from the customer’s perspective is valuable in making order tracking as transparent as possible.
Embed marketing in the order lifecycle. Though order confirmation emails are now standard, not all retailers take advantage of the opportunity to embed marketing outreach in those communications because they lack a single, 360-degree view of customer interactions and order history. Retailers that do highlight related products based on browsing or purchase history can significantly increase site visits and sales.
Invite customer follow-ups. An order should not end with delivery. Inviting a customer to review a product, rate order quality or view how-to guides or helpful blog posts are effective techniques to continuously engage customers and build brand loyalty after a product is received. This is another example of how “transactional touch” helps to round out a superior omnichannel experience.
For many retailers, the barrier to pursuing these tactics is reliance on siloed business systems for order management, inventory, CRM, marketing and customer support. It’s exceedingly difficult to integrate such disparate systems to enable seamless order processing and complete real-time visibility into customers and orders.
To drive business and the customer experience to the next level, it’s time to explore the possibilities with a flexible and integrated platform that lets retailers engage customers at every point throughout the order lifecycle.