Who Is The Face of Your eTailer?

e-commerce delivery

The staff in any physical store plays the role of being the face of any Retailer.  Shoppers can interact with them and address all their queries, concerns, etc., to a “person”. It is an area of focus that the quality of such staff is often not up to the mark and there is tremendous scope for improvement in that front.

In contrast a shopper sees only the person who delivers their products and invariably they are not empowered or trained to be the face of the eTailer. Any issue needs to be raised through an email or a call which has to go through the inevitable IVR (Interactive Voice Response system). The bigger issue is that the same customer call centre person does not attend to the call every time and in many cases the shopper ends up repeating all the details.

Imagine a situation if one walked into a store and wanted some assistance. They call out to a store staff and an imaginary conversation would go like this.

Shopper – Excuse me, where can I find this product?
Store Staff – Thank you for shopping with us and we value your patronage. Please select the following from the options. Say 1 for product information, 2 for other service, 3 for any complaints, 4 for any suggestions and say 9 if you wish to speak to a customer service person.
Shopper – I just want to locate this product
Store Staff – Sorry, we have not received any input. Please press 5 to repeat the main menu.
Shopper – Okay (With an angry sigh) 5
Store Staff – Thank you for shopping with us and we value your patronage. Please select the following from the options. Say 1 for product information, 2 for other service, 3 for any complaints, 4 for any suggestions and say 9 if you wish to speak to a customer service person.
Shopper – Shouts out “1” and is obviously getting irritated.
Store Staff – Thank you. Please Say 1 for Food products or 2 for Non Food products.

I am sure that most shoppers would walk out at this stage.

While I hope that this might never happen in a physical store, this is exactly what happens most of the time when a shopper calls up the customer service number.

Therefore, it is important to re-look at the role of the delivery person because he/ she will always be the ONLY face of the eTailer that the customer gets to see and interact with.

This video about an initiative to motivate such delivery persons. This is a good start but definitely not enough. There has to be a paradigm shift in the way front end logistics is perceived and executed. The article talks about what needs to be done and how that can become a game changer.

About the author

V Rajesh is a well known and widely acknowledged Retail and Shopper Behaviour expert who has been an integral part of the transformation of Indian Retail. He has successfully introduced several modern retail formats in India starting with supermarkets in the mid 90’s and various other mass merchandise, lifestyle and specialty stores. Previously, he has served companies like TCS, Reliance Retail, Future Group,RPG Retail, METRO Cash & Carry, Ogilvy & Mather Advertising, Pepsi Foods, American President Lines and Citibank. He is now very active in the knowledge space and is engaged in sharing his extensive expertise through Strategic Consulting assignments.

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