If we thought retailers were in competition prior to COVID-19, it’s a whole different ball game now, as cities continue to open. The only way to compete for the remainder of 2020 and beyond is through customization.
White glove service has been a trend buzzing phrase for the past five to seven years. Typically, it was associated with delivering goods. Professionals wearing “white gloves” would inspect every aspect of the delivery process to ensure it was impeccable. It was a premium delivery service that gave great attention to detail, especially when it came to handling fragile items.
Retailers are now bringing this luxury service to brick-and-mortar stores. We are starting to see it in Asia, where Coronavirus cases are more under control. Retailers have tapped into this service as a way to compete, knowing that customer service must be pristine and customized.
Harvard Business Review, reports that customization is the only way to serve in a post-pandemic world. Brands will need to be built on individual customer profiles that allow customer service centers to resolve issues quickly, and prevent them from occurring in the first place.
A couple of companies in Asia are already starting the process. It starts with a call to the contact center or a visit in store. The agent or sales associate can pull up the customers profile and instantly see a history of their interactions with the company: previous service calls, payment schedules, marketing tactics, etc.
This service allows brands to be agile and to cater to the modern customer’s obsession with detail, convenience, speed and emotional fulfillment. It is the ultimate customer-first strategy.
Asian brands that are practicing the white glove service are seeing sales increase, but more importantly, it is increasing trust and loyalty by gaining life long customers and seamless experiences across all touchpoints.
Many American companies are worried and searching for innovative ways to keep and attract customers. However, they are skeptical at the expensive costs, technological investment and restructuring that comes with the white glove service.
To house that much customer data for all customers requires a strong IT department and enhanced communication across all departments. Brands that are already struggling financially in the current pandemic, are worried that without the customization that competitors are bringing, they might not survive.
Only time will tell.