How can companies bridge the gap between digitization and personalized customer contact?
Jochen Ludwig, CEO of expert, maintains that aspects such as friendly, knowledgeable staff and the combination of digital and classic services are crucial in this setting: “You must offer the right total package.”
Mr. Ludwig, the Click & Collect service seems to be a great hit with expert customers. What makes this service so attractive?
Jochen Ludwig: Click & Collect lets customers receive their order as quickly as possible and enables them to choose the day and time that’s convenient for them. This eliminates the annoying wait for the delivery service. Our customers very much appreciate the freedom this gives them. Over 45 percent of our online customers collect their items themselves in one of our specialty stores. Another benefit of Click & Collect is the chance to ask for assistance during pickup. When it comes to more intricate devices, it’s nice to know that you can talk to an expert before you get started. Or think of accessories you might need: when you pick up your new TV from a retailer, you can check whether you have all the necessary cables, adapters etc. at home. And if you don’t, you can quickly find the right item at the store. You would need to place another order if you bought these items from a pure-play online retailer.
What other technologies/digital concepts do you think have the potential to benefit brick-and-mortar retailers?
Ludwig: I am quite certain that it is impossible to replace empathy with artificial intelligence or machines. That’s also why I believe that only those types of technologies that serve as a complement to the personal contact and service at the point of sale will ultimately succeed. Our expert NEO tablet application perfectly illustrates this: it offers our specialist consultants digital support during the sales conversation and allows them to access additional information and features and creates cross-selling opportunities.
Have you ever visited the EuroCIS or EuroShop trade fairs to learn more about retail technologies? And if so, how did you like it?
Ludwig: Yes, I’ve been there several times already and always found it very stimulating and inspiring. EuroCIS unmistakably illustrates the fast pace of change in retail technologies. From my perspective, the EuroCIS trade fair is an absolute must-see if you want to stay on top of your game.
Interview: Natascha Mörs; EuroShop.mag