As consumers become increasingly aware of the level of service they expect to receive, it can be difficult for businesses to keep up.
Furthermore, getting even the slightest aspect wrong can be costly, particularly as customers will increasingly pass judgement and vocalise their experience on social media sites.
A new infographic published by MPL Systems has highlighted the main things consumers expect from retailers and provides some suggestions as to how businesses can stay ahead of these demands.
While the vast majority of retailers will offer a contact telephone number, it appears many customers seek to avoid using this channel to get in touch. Indeed, 49 per cent will only pick up the phone and call if their query is of a complex nature.
One aspect that businesses may be neglecting is the ability to get in touch online. Indeed, more than two-thirds (68 per cent) of buyers would like the option to engage in a webchat while shopping online.
This would also help to serve the 89 per cent of people who want online queries to be answered by a person.
Providing consumers with options such as this may seem like an unnecessary expense, but there is a likelihood it will produce a good return on investment, particularly as 74 per cent of customers said they would purchase more from retailers that make it easier for them.
These users are also likely to spread the word, with a positive customer experience on average relayed to six people, either through word of mouth or on social media.
In contrast, however, 86 per cent of consumers have stopped doing business entirely with a company that provided them with a bad customer experience.
According to the infographic, in order to ensure they meet the rising service demands, retailers need to make sure they respond as quickly as possible to consumers, regardless of the channel through which they establish contact.
Tracking the user journey across multiple channels is a key factor in doing this, while effectively utilising big data can help to improve the entire experience.