The Benefits of Proactive Support for Multi-Unit Retailers

Christine Antonelli
Mar 18, 2021 2:33:09 PM

In today's complex environment, the classic support model of "call-into-a-call-center" is ripe for disruption. To provide the great customer experience that nearly every brand seeks requires a support model that takes a technology company's iterative approach. Here's how it looks in practice.

Here's what a proactive support model looks like in practice:

Tracking SLA Metrics & Monitoring Overall Trends

It’s common to spend a lot of money building something, then once the shiny new thing is deployed, the focus on execution becomes murky. These days, it’s not so much about data collection, it’s about making the data available in a format which allows for further iteration, perfection and support.

For example, let’s consider a scenario where your franchise owners have adopted new audio tools. They have invested significant amounts of money and would like to know if their investment was worth it.

If case data is made available by your support partner to each franchise owner, the owner would be able to pull up a dashboard to view incidents for every store, run reports to determine how many incidents occur per store, or even a certain type of technology.

Working to Eliminate Operational Friction

Comprehensive data integration between systems can have wide-reaching effects inside of an organization. For example, it is possible to import tracking information from hardware suppliers and location information from field service providers.

One great example our organization recently encountered involved two separate ServiceNow instances that, when integrated, resulted in increased efficiency and overall transparency.

This integration dramatically reduced the email traffic between the two companies by enabling data to pass between the instances in real-time. With visibility into every support request, the retailer was better equipped to monitor contracted service level agreements (SLAs) and recognize trends early on.

Another key part of the project was creating automated, real-time alerts that notify of the location and estimated arrival time of both hardware and technicians. When considered in isolation, the time saved by these efficiencies may seem inconsequential. However, when viewed holistically and over time, the savings add up quickly.

Reducing Response Times

Perhaps the most important benefit of data integration between support systems comes from the increase in automation and self-service options for organizations.

Automated monitoring and case creation reduce response times and enable trend analysis to identify chronic fail points in any process.

On the support side, automation offers more proactive monitoring of systems. For example, if a store’s broadband connectivity shows to be unavailable for more than a few moments, the system can automatically create a ticket so the support team will begin troubleshooting the issue, only contacting busy staff in-store when needed.

In Conclusion

At a time when brands have very little time with customers, the quality of interaction is important. In frontline roles, you want people who feel challenged and have good morale, so they deserve the right tools to make customers happy. Nothing is more frustrating than wanting to help someone, only to be held back by technology issues or byzantine support processes. And you want to mitigate that feeling of helplessness over everything else.

Just as you are busy implementing new technology, your support partner should be doing the same. Success with technology in complex retail environments requires an iterative approach to fixing issues and taking care of your people so they take care of your customers. It's much more than answering the phone.

About the Author - Chris Antonelli

Christine Antonelli_HSAs Solugenix VP of Customer Experience and Support Services, Chris Antonelli manages the delivery of customer support services and customer experience initiatives for clients in the retail and financial services industries. Chris leverages two decades of experience in leadership roles where she has guided best-in-class customer support service solutions to global brands like McDonald’s, BMW, Citibank, Sonic Drive-In, and Jiffy Lube. As an Executive Council member for Ellevate Network, Chris is dedicated to the professional development of women in the workforce and ardent supporter of remote workforce development.

Connect with Chris Antonelli on: LinkedIn

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