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Is your retail brand in tune with customer care?

May 15th 2012, 10:39

Is your retail brand in tune with customer care?

Retail brands need to give more attention to their consumer care strategies as regulatory frameworks and consumer demands dictate the accuracy and speed at which they respond to grievances and complaints.

In light of the Consumer Protection Act, a brand can be held accountable for large fines if a complaint is not handled correctly. This does not simply mean providing accurate feedback in good time; it also means keeping a full audit trail of how each and every complaint is handled from the time it was received.

Added to this is that consumers, themselves, have become more demanding and expect instant accessibility to brands.

They have more opportunities to communicate with brands than ever before, from calling a customer hotline to sharing an unfortunate experience on a blog, or social network.

“Social media is a totally different ball game. The people in these social media communities talk about you whenever they want, however they want, and to whomever they want. The conversation goes on with or without you,” says Eugene Du Plessis, who heads up Cyber and Social Media at 121 Outsource, a provider of outsourced consumer care.

With this in mind retail brands can no longer handle complaints like a one-way street.

They need to actively engage in conversations with consumers, especially on social networks, where consumers have carte blanche to say how they feel about a brand, whenever they choose.

While a retail brand can opt to handle these customer care challenges in-house, an outsourced provider already has the knowledge and technical expertise to handle grievances and provide feedback immediately.

For example, 121 Outsource has a dedicated call centre that operates around the clock and has also acquired software that allows brands to probe comments and complaints generated from these social media networks.

Outsourcing these services also gives brands the opportunity to focus on its core business activities without the difficulty of having to learn the complicated language of consumer care.

In an environment where consumer opinion has the power to make or break a brand’s reputation and where the regulatory frameworks keep changing, retail brands that don’t have a solid customer care strategy, need to get to the drawing board quickly.

Find out more information about 121 Outsource

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Featured Client
121 Outsource
Customer Care, the neglected orphan of the FMCG Industry has suddenly been turned on its head. The launch of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) has changed the landscape of how companies view their Customer Care Hotlines.

Those companies who do not have a customer care strategy in place should seriously consider their stance on this. The CPA will ensure that companies seriously consider the way they attend to complaints from their consumers. Read more
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Fastmoving provides news, insight and analysis into the retail and FMCG industries in South Africa and has been doing so for the last 12 years. We provide marketing services to businesses operating in the retail and FMCG sector by creating dedicated company pages, publishing news releases and offering exposure in our regular weekly and monthly newsletters.
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