FMCG manufacturers and retailers can take comfort in the fact that these products fly off the shelves and assure steady turnover leading to profits even though margins may be slim. The worrying factor is the rise of online sales and, particularly, the fact that online giants such as Amazon are selling FMCG products under their own brands and taking advantage of their position. Established ecommerce players have an edge so how do you respond and blunt their challenge. The solution could be in use of omnichannel contact center software to reach out to customers, engage them and stand up to the competition in a crowded marketplace.
Omnichannel contact center software overview
The usual call center software offers features like automatic dialing for outbound campaigns, skill based mapping and automatic call distributor plus recording and analysis. The omnichannel contact center software layers in email, chat, fax, voicemail, text message, audio and video call and conference along with social media channels into a unified dashboard access system. You can do a lot more when you have seamless unification. Here is how you can use it to your advantage.
In order to meet customer demands and ensure products are available on shelves you need a superior supply side operation. The software helps you to manage this side of your FMCG business operations. 80 percent of FMCG industries find this one of the biggest challenges to overcome. More than 40 percent buyers will buy or order online according to a McKinsey study and maintaining supply lines is crucial to meeting demands. Your brick and mortar store may go online or you may use the software to accept orders using any of the channels in the omnichannel contact center software and arrange deliveries or let them pick it up from your store. The software ties into your CRM connected to sales and inventory database, which, in turn, helps you keep track of supply side and take decisions. The analytics feature gives you insights into customer behaviors and purchasing patterns, based on which you can plan for optimum purchase strategy. For FMCG manufacturers the stores become their customers and data collected through the software helps them to set up a supply chain network and manage it with efficient communications.
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- FMCG producers can keep track of vendors through email, chat, audio-video calling or WhatsApp. Everyone in the loop is informed exactly of supply position.
- On road products can be tracked with tracking software as well as mobile and WhatsApp in order to assure retail store owners about when they may expect to receive a consignment. In time you can streamline flows to ensure products are always available but without a dead inventory situation arising.
- Keep support alive through multiple-channels, all easily handled by a single person, leading to efficient services to your bulk buyers.
- Know which warehouses are out of stock and which have items in stock so you can easily move products from one to another.
Communications is the key to supply side efficiency as is data. The call center software gives you both.
Customers and marketing
If supply side is important, sales and marketing are no less so, especially given the onslaught of online ecommerce giants pushing their brands. Two can play a game. If ecommerce operators make use of smart tools to track behavior, upsell and cross-sell, you can use omnichannel features of the contact center software to engage customers, push offers, announce competitions, give reward points, invite feedbacks and address complaints.
- Use social media channels to gauge sentiments about products and brands.
- Leverage social media to launch offers, competitions, quizzes and surveys.
- Be available on phone, WhatsApp, chat and other channels.
- Use SMS and voice broadcast to keep sending out offers
- Use IVR for self service so customers can find out more or place orders
- Analyze and derive information about preferences, opinions and expectations
FMCG manufacturers have distributed operations and syncing activities becomes a challenge. The omnichannel contact center software helps you stay on top of the game by making it easy for staff at any location to keep in touch with others and share information related to supplies or sales. Do your bulk buyers or retail buyers have queries or complaints? The software routes the call to the most knowledgeable person to handle it through voice or video call interaction.
Do you need to hold periodic meetings of all your personnel? The software with its video conferencing makes it easy to hold weekly or even daily meetings. Your retail store owner customers use the same software (if you get a hosted solution) and that makes it easy for you to hold online virtual trade conferences with them too.
The omnichannel contact center software is a powerful tool for FMCG. Use it right and you can improve operational efficiency, drive up sales and engage more customers with ease.