Why Multichannel Service Builds Long-Term Loyalty [Future of Retail]

Why Multichannel Service Builds Long-Term Loyalty [Future of Retail]

A proactive approach to customer care designed to deliver problem resolution and information that is streamlined and personal.

  • 28 november 2013

The proliferation of personal mobile devices and customizable social media profiles has had a wide-ranging effect on how people connect with the products and services they want. In the past, shoppers depended on face-to-face interactions and telephone conversations to learn more about a potential purchase or get an issue resolved, but as their time and attention goes elsewhere these limited options are no longer adequate. As a result, retailers and brands are expanding the reach of their customer service efforts to connect with customers through the platforms they’re already active on. This proactive approach is designed to deliver problem resolution and information that is streamlined and personal.

In our fourth Future of Retail report, PSFK Labs has identified the trend of Multichannel Service, where brands and retailers are providing customer assistance on more platforms, creating more staff touchpoints and enabling interactions to happen on shoppers’ terms. This new set of mobile and social tools and practices enable associates to deliver on-demand customer service when and where shoppers need assistance both before and after a sale. Continue reading below to see how forward-thinking companies are implementing this idea to better serve their own customers.


Department store Sears has integrated a Member Assist service into their mobile application that connects shoppers with in-store associates through text messaging. Users of Sears’ Shop Your Way program can browse associates by department, look at profiles of available associates and connect using text messaging or call employees directly in order to find out more about products available online or in the store. Employees with iPads respond in real-time by tracking items down in-store and sending shoppers links of where they can purchase the items at The Member Assist feature has a limited release and can only connect with stores that have staff equipped with iPads and iHelds. The app bridges the gap between the limited stock of brick-and-mortar stores and the inventory range of eCommerce sites, while tying it together with proficient in-store associates that can advise on both areas.

Screenshot 2013-10-29 17.40.18

Retail giant Amazon have been experimenting with Mayday, an on-demand support system that helps users troubleshoot issues on their Kindle Fire HDX devices. It comes pre-installed on the tablet to connect users with an associate in under 15 seconds, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During a call, the associate cannot see the caller, but they can speak with them, draw on their screen, and even screen-share to help solve the problem. The user’s data is kept private. Amazon’s next challenge is to scale the service across the company’s other platforms and offer real-time support to all of its customers.

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 2.14.09 PM

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, which already has a strong presence on Pinterest, implemented an online concierge service allowing travelers to connect with local hotels for travel advice through the Pinterest site. Travelers can create their own ‘Pin.Pack.Go’ board and invite any of the 77 Four Seasons hotels to collaborate using Pinterest’s ‘share’ feature. Once invited, online concierges can recommend local sites, upcoming events, and must-visit dining spots by pinning them to the traveler’s board. Four Seasons sees this as an opportunity to provide personalized recommendations and talk directly to customers.

The Multichannel Service trend is part of a bigger theme called Networked Purchase Path. At key points along the shopping journey, a forward thinking retailer or brand can effectively employ data, connected technologies and human service to meet the shopper where they are and anticipate where they will go next, created seamless experiences and better interactions across channels.

In the fourth edition of the Future of Retail Report, PSFK Labs brings together two interconnected themes and eleven key trends that provide a foundation for the modern shopping experience. The findings are brought to life with best-in-class examples, actionable strategies and leading questions to inspire leading retailers and brands. Join us at our San Francisco conference on Nov. 21st where talks from retail innovators will bring the key themes to life.



Images: CMS Wire


Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

Design & Architecture
Technology Today

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online

Retail Today

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Gaming & Play Today

Nintendo’s New Console Pushes For Portable Gaming

The Switch allows gamers to seamlessly play on the go by themselves or with friends

Entertainment Today

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

AI Today

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important

Millennials Today

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 17, 2016

Home Depot Green Energy Expert: Americans Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Green tech expert Jennifer Tuohy discusses new home energy tech and developments for renewables in the US

PSFK Labs Today

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Food Today

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising Today

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Work Today

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

Retail Today

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children Today

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants Today

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Technology Today

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Technology Today

Wearable Device And Lamp Recreate Beautiful Sunsets In Your Home

Sun Memories can record up to six hours of natural light and reproduce it via a connected light at a later date

No search results found.