Virtual Brand Experts Can Reshape the Retail Customer Experience

Whether you are a retail brand or retailer, whether you are looking to augment your retail sales associate team, connect more directly to customers, provide a convenient way to assist more customers, or offer more personalized customer engagement that leads to a purchase, you may want to consider AskMe®. A powerful customer engagement solution, AskMe seamlessly harmonizes human interactions with popular digital technologies to create a better retail customer experience for in-store and online shoppers. 

AskMe was developed by MarketSource in response to the evolving needs of our clients, representing many iconic retail brands. They come to us for our deep, practical understanding of all facets of retailing, especially how we tailor our solutions to their unique situation and help them achieve their specific strategic objectives.

What Problems Does AskMe Solve?

The challenges and problems brands and retailers face are as diverse as the products they sell. And with customer expectations at an all-time high, combined with inflation worries and staffing shortages, maintaining a highly satisfying, interactive shopping experience should be a top priority. AskMe falls in line with this focus because of the way it can remove the obstacles to excellent customer engagement.   

Here is what we hear most from our clients: 

  • I’m having trouble hiring and retaining enough retail sales associates. 
  • My sales associates can’t assist customers because they are so busy with routine tasks. 
  • Our in-store staff doesn’t have the technical knowledge required to help customers make purchase decisions, especially in categories such as household appliances, smart home devices, and consumer electronics. 
  • Shoppers are leaving the store empty-handed due to a lack of adequate, constructive customer service. 
  • We want every retail shopper to engage with our brand, but stationing in-person brand ambassadors at multiple locations at all times is beyond our means. 

The overriding answer to all of these dilemmas is to improve customer connectivity in a way that promotes consumer engagement better than your competitors. This opens the door to greater customer loyalty and higher sales conversion.  

Shoppers Connect Virtually in Real Time with Live Brand Ambassadors

Many retailers are adopting technology to improve customer connectivity. They are turning to various digital solutions. But in reality, many such approaches merely stave off the kinds of human interactions that keep a customer interested in continuing to shop, and don’t communicate enough information to be of real assistance, let alone make a sale. One example is the use of chatbots. While these can address customer concerns without the need to hire a human, when relied on solely, can lead to high levels of customer frustration 

AskMe is different. It leverages the best of technology and human interaction to deliver an ideal customer experience. It eliminates the need for an in-store, on-site physical presence, and instead delivers a live brand expert in real time. Not enough nationwide brand ambassadors to cover every store? No retail sales associate available? No worries. AskMe brand experts are virtually available, on-demand, in any store, nationwide. Customers simply use their phone to scan a QR code that appears on a shelf or product, and they instantly connect to a live brand expert, via text, video, instant message, or voice call. 

When the customer connects, they’re connected to the right brand expert who has extensive knowledge of the product or brand they’re exploring. No longer will customers have to run up and down store aisles looking for assistance… no longer will shoppers be frustrated by green or uninformed associates. With AskMe, a brand expert helps customers compare features and benefits of various product models and brands and guides them to a confident purchase. 

As a bonus, AskMe brand experts can use the engagement opportunity to tell the brand story and elevate brand awareness. 

A Fast Track to Better Customer Engagement

Unlike many complex customer engagement solutions, AskMe has a comparatively straightforward setup. We can get your brand or stores up and running with AskMe in a matter of weeks. However, we’ve found that getting to know as much as we can about our clients is essential because we customize AskMe to meet each client’s objectives. Also, working closely with each client assures a long-term return on investment.

Our aim is your long-term success. And that means we are in it for the long haul. Upon implementing AskMe, we monitor its success to ensure it continues to meet your and your customers’ expectations for productivity and performance. 

Top-Notch Training is Key

MarketSource has extensive experience in recruiting, training, and onboarding retail sales associates in many categories. We take these activities seriously when we hire retail brand experts for AskMe. 

Our onboarding is highly disciplined and includes extensive training in your brand story and product features. You decide whatever level of talk or chat you want our AskMe reps to establish with customers. In addition, we can train post-sale brand experts to assist customers with installation issues and troubleshooting. They can even provide informative videos and demos on product installation and operation for customers to view. A sales manager is always in the queue to track the progress of each AskMe interaction. 

We Embody Your Brand for a Fully Aligned Partnership

AskMe virtual brand experts are an extension of your brand and are thoroughly embedded with your own sales and marketing teams.  

AskMe does an excellent job at bridging the gap between online and offline sales because it maintains a necessary human connection when and where it can make the most positive impact. The choice is yours.  

Ready to talk?

Want to improve customer engagement? Ask us about AskMe®, and we’ll make great things happen to your bottom line!
Author: Karen Salamone

Author: Karen Salamone

Karen is Head of Marketing for MarketSource. She is a transformational B2B and B2B2C leader with a history of building marketing organizations, content teams, and demand generation centers of excellence from the ground up. She is recognized for delivering meaningful insights and fresh approaches and for earning best-in-class content, design, and multi-media awards.

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