Curbside Concierge: Combining the helpfulness of store associates with the convenience of technology

Mobile, Curbside
Mike Welsh
Publication Date
21 July 2020

Curbside Concierge: Combining the helpfulness of store associates with the convenience of technology

Going above and beyond with curbside 

Curbside delivery programs have become incredibly valuable for businesses and consumers alike, especially as the world navigates the pandemic. For many companies, their curbside mobile apps have helped keep their businesses afloat during a period where many people are reluctant to leave their homes, let alone step inside of a restaurant, grocery store, or retail outlet.

Supporting customers with curbside concierge

While the majority of the world was able to fall back on digital solutions to get their groceries, order dinner, and stock up on household goods like toilet paper, some people still struggle to use their phone or a mobile app and may be forced to venture out to a store (even if they don’t want to for health and safety reasons).

But what if there was a way for customers to use your curbside mobile app in conjunction with your trained staff? (Especially during a time when interacting with people outside of your quaranteam is very limited!)

Combining the helpfulness of a store associate with the convenience of technology

There are entire business models built around the idea that customer service can make or break a company, which is why you hear things like, “how can I help you?” and “did you find everything you needed today?” when you enter or leave a store. You may even work directly with an associate when trying on a new dress or work pants – all of these help build a brand and reputation between a customer and the companies they love. With COVID-19, consumers experience these little moments less frequently. Technology has started to replace many human interactions that we have every day which made me think: is there a way to combine these human to human connections with the convenience of technology?

There is certainly a case for this for some businesses, but it should be carefully considered. Some questions you should think about when deciding if curbside concierge is right for your business include:

  • Is my business set up in a way that allows for white glove service? For example, at a quick-service restaurant (think Chick-fil-A and their associates with tablets), you may be able to arrange a curbside concierge much more easily than you could at a high-end retailer that sells expensive handbags. It’s all about identifying if there is a fit-for-purpose approach as you explore a curbside concierge offering.
  • Will we be able to still maintain distance if we offer curbside concierge? There are some business cases that require close human contact, such as hair salons or personal training. You want to make sure that if you implement full-service into your business, it doesn’t jeopardize your customers’ or associates’ health.
  • Will this help my customers? It sounds simple but, think about which customer personas curbside concierge could help. If your customers can benefit, curbside concierge is worth exploring. 
  • How much time will curbside concierge take out of a customers’ day? You may remember that at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, an elderly woman and younger good samaritan made the news because the elderly woman asked a young person to buy her groceries for her. Perhaps there is a way to build a similar, ongoing relationship between a store concierge and a repeat customer who could pick up a regular order during a designated pickup time. 

These questions scratch the surface, but are a good starting point for your business. 

Who benefits from curbside concierge?

While we’ve mentioned that this may help the less-than-tech-savvy audience, there is also a widespread number of people who may really like this offering, including:

  • Older adults: Companies may be concerned that their older adult population won’t adapt or embrace digital solutions. But, what if they didn’t have to or they could be taught by store associates? If your staff could take their order on a tablet carside, they wouldn’t need to leave their car, put themselves at risk, or worry about learning a new technology. It’s a win-win-win.
  • Vulnerable populations: Consumers with pre-existing conditions or vulnerabilities to COVID-19 will be slower to ‘get back to normal,’ and will therefore be seeking new options as the world around them reopens. By offering at-risk customers the option to have safe face-to-face interaction, get out of the house, and cross an item off their to-do list, you may be the hero that makes their day less difficult.
  • People with disabilities: Some people with disabilities may have a difficult time texting, typing, or tapping their mobile phones. They may only use the voice and Siri options if they are visually impaired. Or maybe walking around a store is too physically taxing. Either way, providing a concierge service for people with disabilities can offer long-term success for your business well after the pandemic is over.
  • Busy families: For some families, running out of milk or diapers can be a huge challenge right now. Getting out of the house may be a welcome distraction for new parents, and curbside concierge could be the way for parents to get what they need in a safe, reliable and instantaneous way.

Turning your back-end operations into customer-satisfying, revenue-generating resources

In a previous blog, The Top 5 Myths Around Launching a Curbside Delivery Program, we talked about the misconception that implementing curbside will displace your current employees. With a curbside concierge program, you can utilize employees in a new way allowing you to limit the number of customers in your store, streamline your intake order process, and deliver the one-on-one experience that customers deserve – all while keeping them and your team safe.

Contactless payment options can be easier with curbside concierge

At Mobiquity, we believe that if you’re strategizing ways to become more safe and convenient for your customers, it’s important to also consider how payments can become touchless. We’re experienced in digital onboarding & eKYC services, allowing you to make digital payment and identity verification simple, secure, and efficient for customers.

Is implementing a curbside concierge difficult?

Developing a curbside delivery program can be complex, but at Mobiquity, we’ve created several accelerators to help businesses at every level set up and deploy a curbside offering. 

We can help you kickstart your program in just 8 weeks. Want to get started? Let's talk.

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