Today’s omni-channel customers are more connected than ever before. With so much information readily available, consumers can easily research products wherever they are via their mobile devices, check on a store’s reputation, compare prices right in the aisles, and ultimately choose to buy wherever they get the best deal.

Couple a highly-informed buyer with an environment of slow economic growth, and it becomes increasingly challenging to attract and retain customers. To do so, retailers need to be extremely attuned to their customers, delivering exactly what they want, when they want it.

Improving Customer Service using Office 365
Today, 6 out of the top 10 retailers in the U.S. use Office 365. Why? Because Office 365 is a powerful tool that can help retailers deliver a best-in-class customer experience. By connecting businesses more closely to their customers, it can help retailers of all sizes quickly obtain and incorporate customer feedback into their offerings. In addition, it can turn store associates into instant experts equipped with the right information, right when they need it—helping them to close the sale.

 

 

  • Easily obtain and act on customer feedback: By connecting their headquarters and stores with modern communication and social tools, retailers can more quickly capture and act on customer feedback. Using SharePoint Online, for example, employees can summarize customer conversations for all to see. They can also share best practices and ideas for serving the customer. In addition, retailers can use SharePoint to create customer-facing websites that make it easy to solicit customer feedback on products and services.
  • Increase the expertise of their salesforce: SharePoint Online makes it possible for retailers to store all vital company information in one place. Using powerful search tools, store associates can quickly find the information they need—wherever they are, from nearly any device.
  • Get expert answers in real-time: If the information they’re looking for isn’t stored within the portal, no problem! Using the presence information built into Lync Online, employees can easily find experts in a particular area, determine whether that expert is available, and initiate a conversation via instant message or videoconference. All of this helps store associates respond to customer questions on the spot, providing them with the expertise required to deliver a top-level customer experience.

Becoming America’s Favorite Store
Two great examples of retailers that recently chose Office 365 to improve customer service are jcpenney and Tesco.

With 1,100 stores across the United States, jcpenney is using Office 365 to help achieve its goal of delivering a premier customer experience. By implementing Office 365, the retailer plans to increase information-sharing among team members. Office 365 will improve remote access for employees, who can stay connected virtually anywhere, anytime—using  smartphones, remote PCs, and other mobile devices. This, in turn will increase communication among stores, allowing team members to work seamlessly with colleagues at other locations while assisting customers.

“In selecting a cloud solution, we were looking for a partner who would support our goal of becoming America’s favorite store,” says Kristen Blum, chief technology officer, jcpenney. “And when we realized that we could improve customer service even more by providing cloud-based collaboration tools to increase communication between team members, it was easy to choose Microsoft and Office 365.”

Delivering a Great Shopping Experience
Likewise, Tesco, one of the largest retailers in the world, is implementing Office 365 as a way to add customer value.

By using Office 365 as its companywide social and collaboration platform, Tesco hopes to encourage employees across its multinational workforce to share ideas and best practices. The company also wants to give its employees access to the experts, information, and tools they need to deliver a great shopping experience.

“Office 365 will enable us to be a fully connected organization that works closely together, proactively shares knowledge, motivates loyalty and retention of employees, and encourages better working practices to ensure that we create value for customers,” says Mike McNamara, Tesco’s chief information officer.

Putting the Customer First
It’s been said that “When the customer comes first, the customer lasts.” No wonder so many retailers choose Office 365. Especially in today’s challenging economic climate, Office 365 is retailers’ ace in the hole when it comes to putting customers first.