Customers want to collect their order at a time that works for them, and they want it to be ready when they get there. Outdated pickup processes result in long wait times, frazzled store staff and reduced customer loyalty.
Here are four tactics to streamline the customer experience for in-store collection and curbside pickup.
1. Reduce Click and Collect Wait Times
For an efficient click and collect process, information needs to flow easily between the store and the customer.
Provide customers with SMS and email notifications so they know when their order is ready. Elevate the experience by including a link to a web-based portal with more detailed directions.
To speed up the handover process, allow customers to indicate when they’re on their way and when they arrive. Let them check in online and confirm their chosen pickup location or parking space.
To unlock the full potential of customer engagement, ask customers for permission to generate an estimated time of arrival (ETA) based on their location. This ensures that orders are ready just in time – reducing wait times while ensuring that items aren’t clogging up the handover area.
2. Improve Team Member Efficiency
In-store teams are often tasked with juggling order picking, pending handovers, and other routine tasks. This heavy mental load can result in missed items and long wait times.
Use a dedicated click and collect app to provide visual cues and audible alerts when customers are on their way. Real-time ETAs help staff to have the order ready right on time, without creating a backlog in the pickup area.
When multiple customers check in around the same time, an app can help by prioritizing and color-coding pending tasks.
Digitizing the collection experience also minimizes human error by reminding staff to follow handover processes. For instance, obligatory checklists can require staff to verify the customer’s age or check the temperature of chilled goods.
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3. Make It Secure, Contactless and Easy
Since the pandemic, many businesses have replaced their ‘sign-on-glass’ system with contactless collection alternatives.
Whichever proof of pickup method you opt for, there are steps you can take to prevent click and collect fraud.
It’s good practice to offer a unique one-time PIN to the buyer. This makes it easy to verify the customer’s identity and provide a secure, contactless handover.
Security measures don’t need to be restrictive for customers. For instance, when a customer is unable to collect their order in person, they could elect a nominee to be issued with a unique PIN. This increases convenience for customers while making it easier to detect fraudsters.
4. Use Feedback to Continually Improve
Feedback tends to be an afterthought in the click and collect process. It’s not uncommon for stores to request feedback hours or days after the collection.
With so much time elapsed, most responses will be from customers who had a particularly memorable experience. Often, this skews ratings towards the negative.
One solution is to send an SMS as soon as the collection is complete. In this way, you can get customers’ attention while they still remember their experience. This results in higher response rates and a more nuanced picture of customer sentiment.
To get the most out of customer surveys, responses should be fed back into the business. In the short term, negative feedback can help your team to prioritize service recovery. In the long term, learnings from feedback help to continually improve the customer experience.
Streamlining the Click and Collect Experience
As more brands add click and collect to their omnichannel fulfillment model, customer experience will become a key differentiator.
Speak to an expert today to take your collection journey to the next level.