Panic Thursday – Championing Click and Collect

Tom Downes, CEO, Quail Digital

“The arrival of ‘Panic Thursday’ means that footfall within stores is set to surge. This close to Christmas Day, stores are considered a safer option for those hoping to purchase a last minute present for their loved ones, but whilst some may find themselves pounding the pavement in search for inspiration, others will already have ordered their gift through a Click and Collect service.

In order to make the most of the increased footfall during this period, retailers need to provide a quick and efficient service for all types of customers, but especially those using Click and Collect. Customers have little patience for waiting, particularly during the last week before Christmas Day, so retailers need to ensure that they don’t leave them frustrated and lingering by asking them to queue with customers looking to process returns or checkout in-store products. To meet customer expectations, and increase their chances of upselling, retailers need to focus more on their Click and Collect experience. Stores should implement a separate kiosk or till specifically for click and collect so that customers can access their order quickly, and staff should be connected at all times so that they can work together to provide the ultimate level of customer service.

It’s important that the role of the store associate isn’t overlooked in regards to Click and Collect, with recent research showing that 60% of shoppers have walked out of a store within the last year because of poor customer service*. At this time of year store associates will be stretched, with increased hours and responsibilities across various departments. Good communication is key to helping them cope with the extra demands felt during this peak shopping day and provide the service customers expect. Rather than trying to utilise dated communication means such as pagers or telephone systems (all of which need to actively be answered and can be ignored), teams should adopt wireless headsets. This technology allows associates the freedom to move around the store, whilst linking the team together and not infringing on the customer experience. This immediate and shared communication enables store associates to work together as a team to improve overall efficiency and productivity in-store, and as a result both customers and retailers will experience the benefits this touch point can bring.

In order to improve customer experience and tackle the last Christmas rush, stores need to optimise resources and team members. Retailers need to realise that this service is important, and a vital part of keeping stressed shoppers happy, and spending, during the Christmas period.”

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