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The value of good customer service


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Luxury retailers successfully moving online could generate an additional £43 billion in transactions between now and 2020.


EMBRACE CHANGE It’s not only technology that’s changing, but consumer behaviour too. One trend of recent times is an increasing number of returns, as people buy a range of sizes or variations to try out, keep the one they want, and send back the rest. Such ‘intentional returns’ may bring extra costs for


retailers, but there’s nothing to be gained by resisting changes like this. Surveys consistently show that free and easy returns are one of the main factors attracting customers to high street stores, and making it harder will simply push them away. Instead, shops should embrace changes like


this, adapt to mitigate the costs, and treat them as opportunities rather than irritations. After all, a person returning an item is a potential customer. The better they’re treated, the more likely they are to make extra purchases – and come back for more.


MAKE IT EASY TO PAY Another thing that customers increasingly expect is a quick and easy ride through the checkout. When they can make a purchase at the tap of a button online, people have little patience for delays at the till. In PwC’s 2017 Total Retail survey, 59% of consumers named ease of checkout – including self-service and staff who can take payment without going to the till – as an important feature of the shopping experience. Of course, recent improvements such as contactless


credit cards and digital wallets have sped things up for many. But retailers should also be looking for new ways – tech-based and otherwise – to take the hassle out of paying. As the survey data shows, it’s an area that can have a major effect on the customer experience. That includes offering a range of payment options, including retail credit at the point of sale. The credit


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