Multinational retailer Marks & Spencer is facing a crisis. Its sales for both food and clothing have declined during the last quarter of 2017. To be specific, clothing and homeware fell by 2.8 percent, while food fell by 0.4 percent. This left the company with no other choice but to close its unprofitable stores.
According to retail analyst Steve Dresser, high business rates and higher staff costs are the main reasons why some M&S stores have become unprofitable. He also added the fact that the click and collect, a feature that allows customers to buy products online and pick them up from the physical store, is not as effective for M&S as it was for other retailers. This is because M&S caters to a much older market.
The beauty of outsourcing
M&S has already discovered the beauty of outsourcing and how it can help with the crisis it currently faces. Just a few days into 2018, it has transferred over 250 roles from its 430-man IT Team to an offshore provider. This is in line with the company’s objective to save £30 million annually.
But if M&S is looking to cut more costs, there are other business functions that it can outsource. Upon checking its website, one function it can also outsource is its live chat support feature.
Benefits of live chat support
With the increasing demand for live chat support, e-commerce sites should all have one set in place in their online stores. With this customer add-on, M&S and other e-commerce websites with this feature are able to:
- Improve customer experience. Live chat support enables a business to provide instant responses to queries. It makes online shopping a more convenient experience for buyers. It also helps boost customer retention and customer loyalty, resulting in an increased revenue.
- Reduce phone expenses. Live chat support can serve as the tier 1 part of customer service. This can reduce phone expenses if the questions are just simple. In reality, some studies show that customers prefer using live chat for simple questions and only opt for phone customer service for complicated matters such as billing issues.
Indeed, live chat support is a must for all e-commerce websites right now. It is a good thing that M&S already have it in place. With the crisis it faces, M&S can outsource it to further reduce operational expenses. The money it can save can be used to fund other sales and marketing efforts as a solution to their crisis.
If this is an opportunity that you would like to learn more about, don’t hesitate to contact us. It will be our pleasure to share our knowledge with you.