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How The World of High-End Retail Has Changed and What To Do About It

Read the full report in our latest eBook, “Driving High-End Retail With AI,” a complete resource that explains the seismic shift that today’s retail contact centers are experiencing. 

When COVID-19 hit, social distancing and lockdowns forced us all inside. But this didn’t prevent us from requiring items with high purchase prices: diamonds for engagement rings, for example, high-tech mattresses or even automobiles. For retail businesses, there was only one place to find and keep repeating customers: the digital world.

“Luxury brands and luxury platforms have always been behind the eight ball with digital capabilities,” said one Wells Fargo analyst. “Maybe it took Covid [to realize that].”

What happened? Call and chat volumes sky-rocketed. Retailers started promoting and selling on social media. Brands adapted. They staffed their contact centers and started offering curbside pickup, relaxed return policies, and contactless shopping experiences to keep the flow of goods moving. As McKinsey would note, people bought 15-30% more goods in every category—including the high-ticket items once reserved for in-person experiences.

Social distancing guidelines may have subsided, but our habits haven’t changed. If anything, the COVID pandemic spurred new expectations for purchases –  a pure omnichannel shopping experience and we are not going back. 

Consumers are now using a hybrid approach to shopping. They self-educate online, reach out to brands by phone or chat, and visit physical stores. Regardless of the order, they still expect personalized shopping experiences with a human touch. In this digital world, retaining a personal touch is critical to earning customer loyalty and business success. And it starts and ends with the contact center. 

To keep up with today’s savvy customers and the competition, retail contact centers must deliver a personalized, human-first experience across all channels. In order to accomplish this level of service, contact center leaders must reevaluate how they approach their biggest challenges:

Contact Center Challenge Impact of Challenge
Employee Training and Development Ramp time and new hire onboarding can take up to several months.
Attrition Agent attrition in contact centers is up 80% with no career path or plans in place.
Hybrid Teams Managers are struggling to assess team performance and focus their coaching efforts.
Personalized Omni-Channel Experience Brand loyalty hurts when customers do not receive high-quality service.
Handling High Volume Agents are overwhelmed with high demand and customers suffer from long wait times.
Seasonality Volume increases along with staffing and training costs.
Evolving Products and Promotions Agents struggle to keep on top of latest product changes and promos.
Insights into Customer Trends Retailers have a hard time understanding and keeping on top of strategic insights.

These challenges posed are impossible to address by traditional processes and standard operating procedures, so high-performing contact centers are turning to AI to thrive in the new normal. 

Enter Cresta. 

Cresta’s Real-Time Intelligence uses advanced AI to help retail contact centers make the most of every customer interaction. It coaches agents on the skills and knowledge they need to sell big-ticket goods and services, while also helping managers coach faster and smarter. And beyond that, conversational insights surface invaluable information about customer trends.

Retailers that use Cresta have seen:

  • 2x increase in conversion rates 
  • 60% decrease in employee attrition
  • 4x’s increase in coaching productivity

Want to know why you need to know about this technology, and how you might implement it in your own contact center? Download our latest eBook “Driving High-End Retail With AI”, and find out what the world of large-ticket retail is going to look like beyond 2022.