Retail Customer Experience
Customers now shop across multiple channels and multiple devices at any time, and they expect a consistent and positive experience throughout. Excellent retail customer experience needs to apply across all channels, and leading retail companies have to stay ahead of fast-paced customer trends and consumer-based technology. That’s easier said than done, so what do you need to know about retail customer experience?
A report from the IBM Institute for Business Value shows the importance of customer satisfaction to company profitability. They surveyed nearly 1,000 customers to shed light on what distinguishes top-performing retailers from less successful competitors. The study found that retailers who performed the best financially were also ranked highest in customer experience. Ultimately, it affected the retailer’s bottom line more than other areas of customer relationship management. Here are five steps to consider when improving your retail customer experience.
START WITH THE APPROPRIATE QUESTIONS
Excellent retail customer experience starts with a clear examination of your business and customer needs. We suggest asking questions like the following:
- What does your customer experience currently look like?
- Where do you have room for improvement?
- What are your successes?
- How do you want your customer experience to evolve?
- How should customer experiences vary for different customer groups?
- How can you collect and analyze required data?
- How will these insights be applied to effect real change?
- How does your technology infrastructure need to change to better support customer experience?
CRAFT ANSWERS INTO A CLEAR VISION
When you have examined, discussed and gathered answers then you have to craft them into a succinct vision of what the business wants to be, both internally and for customers. Although you can expand on your vision, you need a simple, memorable and easily communicable message. To be genuine and have staying power, make sure your external vision is a reflection of internal culture and vice versa.
Everything the business does must align with that vision. We recommend adapting your brand promise to ensure a customer centric-culture and then delivering on it. Elevating Customer Experience becomes significantly easier when you have a consistent and strong vision.
TAKE YOUR SIMPLE STEPS FIRST
Before you jump into sophisticated technological advancements such as dynamic digital signage and mobile advertising, you need to ensure that your customers have a frictionless and easy experience both online and off. How comfortable is the buying process? Does your messaging system answer essential customer questions? Can customers find whatever they’re looking for without any major roadblocks?
Customers care about how they are treated. If they feel mistreated or ignored, no amount of big store revamps are going to soothe or impress them. You’d be surprised how many companies overlook the basics, so create a roadmap for creating a friction-free experience for your customers. You’ll start to distinguish yourself from competitors.
LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS AND MEASURE YOUR DATA
You’ve got the basics figured out, and now you need to take it to the next level. To build enduring customer experiences, retailers need to offer shopping experiences that match consumer desires, expectations, and emotions. According to IBM’s study, higher-satisfaction retailers provided customers with the right amount of information about new products and offers at the right time. They were more successful offering promotional offers that consumers actually wanted. You can do this too, if you pay attention to your data.
Measurement plays a vital part in improving and sustaining a great customer experience. Customer feedback is an obvious route, but you can expand by collecting advanced in-store and digital data. If you collect and analyze your data, you can use it to personalize design based on customer type, mobile devices and more. If you understand the way your customers shop and engage in your store and online, you can help key moments in the future.
THINK HOLISTICALLY AND COVER ALL YOUR BASES
If you reach out to your customers across multiple channels, then you need to link data across all channels, gain a single view of the customer, and improve your retail customer Customer Experience accordingly. Your customers are everywhere, and you must show them a consistent brand and design. You can create that consistency and connect the dots by delivering in store, over the phone, on the Internet.
You should also consider referencing channel interaction. Did you have an awesome mobile coupon? Reference it in your in-store digital signage. Get creative and think holistically.
EXAMINE THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY INNOVATIONS AVAILABLE TO THE RETAIL INDUSTRY
In order to cover all your bases, you have to start thinking about the latest technology. What new audiovisual capabilities are available? How advanced are your mobile advertising campaigns? Have you embraced scent marketing?
Even though technology advances rapidly, retailers need to integrate it to provide their customers the best customer experience available. Check out different vendors and see what they’re offering. Also, take regular check-ins to look for improvement possibilities.
THE BENEFITS OF RETAIL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Having excellent retail customer experience takes effort, but the benefits are numerous. So what are they? Increased customer loyalty. More repeat customers. Reduced customer complaints. Fewer escalated interactions. Happier employees. Friendlier customers. And finally … greater inventory turnover and profit. Let us know how we can help you with retail customer experience.