The key to success is implementing innovative solutions quickly.

Every retailer in our community shares with us their business priorities and the areas of innovation they are most interested in, which allow us to find and curate the best and most relevant solutions to match their needs.

One of the hot topics right now is ‘customer service’ and recently Halfords invited us and two other members of the community (Dune Group and Penhaligon’s) in to showcase just some of the innovators in this space.

For a long time, customer service was just seen as a post-purchase necessity, fulfilled by customer service teams in call centres. The reality is that customer service is a fundamental part of the overall customer experience and needs to be viewed holistically across the entire customer journey.

Even among brand marketers, customer service is seen as a key differentiator of reaching through the noise, as shown on this graphic from MarketingCharts:

So how can you innovate at speed within this space? Validify is curating exceptional solutions that can have a big impact quickly.

eCommerce managers dream of conversion levels stores achieve, partly because sales staff can assist customers in-store and good salespeople interpret customer needs and intent. The good news is AI-driven innovation is enabling sites to interrupt onsite behaviour and intervene when appropriate to assist customers with their journey. Below are a few examples.

Live chat solutions

One of the vendors on the Validify platform in this place is Freshworks, which allows you to engage with your customers across email, chat, phone, mobile and social channels.

Live chat can be of great assistance when a customer has a query online, but solutions like Chatify can ensure the query is directed to the right person based on knowledge and geography.

Single customer view and CRM enhancement

Of course, when your customers do communicate with you, you want to make sure you have the most accurate, up-to-date single view of your customer and their transaction history, which is where CRM solutions like Rais can help.


Empowering your staff to manage customers effectively and deliver the best possible customer experience is critical, and this is true online and instore.

The major difficulty is that in many stores staff turnover is very high, resulting in an inconsistent customer experience.

Instore clienteling such as Mercaux, Proximity Insight and Red Ant can transform customer interactions, allowing them to immediately see product availability without disappearing into the back of the store, make relevant product recommendations and access customer data to personalise the experience. It also helps identify the best employees and help with training and retention.

Customer Advocacy

Ultimately your customer is your greatest brand ambassador, Toky Woky enables you to harness the power of your most enthusiastic customers, who help to respond to product questions. Clients have used this to great effect, reducing the burden on customer service teams and increasing conversion.