Makro receives numerous customer enquiries on a daily basis. The retailer said to provide accessible and seamless customer communication, a chat channel on WhatsApp was the obvious solution. Photo: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – Makro announced on Wednesday that shoppers at its 22 South African outlets and online store could now experience instant customer care and service by connecting with them directly on WhatsApp.

This announcement comes as shopping season kicked off with a successful Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which saw a rise in retail sales, according to reports, compared with previous years.

Makro’s head of digital marketing Kerry Ho said customers could now access the information they wanted, when they wanted it, without having to endure a lengthy phone call or escalate potential queries.

“This bold step towards the future of customer service ensures customers have the best experience on their own terms. The addition and implementation of exciting functions in WhatsApp aligns with Makro’s mission to help our customers fulfil their aspirations of living better lives, running better businesses, and saving them time and money,” said Ho.

Some of the features available in Makro’s chat offering include tracking orders, viewing current catalogues, accessing a digital store card, locating nearby stores, and having frequently asked questions (FAQs) instantly answered in chat on WhatsApp.

Makro receives numerous customer enquiries on a daily basis. To provide accessible and seamless customer communication, a chat channel on WhatsApp was the obvious solution, the company said in a statement.

Makro’s intelligent Assistant (iA) was developed by Feersum Engine – a product that allows brands to connect with their consumers on the device of their choice. Feersum’s human-centred approach means that they are constantly finding ways to improve the Makro user experience and will keep adding features to its chat service on WhatsApp.

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To enable WhatsApp integration, Makro has worked with global chat commerce leaders Clickatell, known for pioneering commerce in the chat space and responsible for many industry firsts.

Clickatell co-founder and chief executive Pieter De Villiers said: “Retail is currently one of the most competitive environments and ensuring customer satisfaction must be the number one priority for business leaders in this sector.

“The Makro team has already shown themselves to be trailblazers, ensuring they can meet and engage with their customers on the platforms of their choice. Digital transformation will ensure sustainable growth, and we are looking forward to developing our partnership with Makro as they continue on this exciting path.”

BUSINESS REPORT