With the CXEdge 2015 Conference planned in March, customer experience is front of mind for many retailers, and so it should be. It is the fine line between success and failure, it encourages loyalty and promotes brand advocacy. So what might the attendees of CXEdge like to consider when optimising their customer experience?
How to use data to your advantage.
When it comes to how your customers experience your store or online presence, the proper use of data is your secret weapon.
A single customer view is the Holy Grail for all retailers and this can only be achieved through an understanding of the fundamentally shifting shopping habits of today’s customer. As a retailer you need to be present with consistent branding and message across every consumer touchpoint, whether that be digital, in-store, POS, vouchers or anywhere in between.
You probably have the data at your fingertips to track your customers’ habits throughout their journey, but how are you using it? How do you know that you are extracting the relevant insight from that data? How will you apply it and what changes will you make to the way you take your customers through your brand experience?
We once heard a client say ‘data, data everywhere, and not an insight to be seen.’ This is the great failure of the big data hype. Everyone is drowning in data, although very few know how to extract value from it. Many do not have the processes, systems or capability to use it to understand their consumers. It is crucial to focus on the metrics that map your customer journey and the relationship that you have with your customers. Unless you can make sense of the data in the context of your customer experience and mobilise it, it is useless.
When moving data back and forth across platforms and solutions it is imperative to have strong data controls and processing protocols in place to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the data on which your decisions will be based.
Surprise and Delight
Exploit your in depth knowledge of a customer’s journey to their advantage by surprising and delighting them with what you can offer. Perhaps you know they always buy their breakfast in-store on a Tuesday morning.
Why not email them a voucher for a free smoothie on Monday night? The customer is delighted and their journey is seamless from online to in-store at the POS. Are your systems sufficiently aligned to achieve this?
Online and offline experiences need to match up and be delivered ‘on brand’ every time. Achieve this by building integrated teams and resources, sustainable processes and systems, mapping online and offline customer journeys, testing, refining, listening, having your technology designed around people and usability. In the case of a retailer, for example, making sure your shoppers get the same service and experience in store and online is business critical.
Use new technology where appropriate
Often, improving a customer journey is not about investing in huge amounts of shiny new technology, it is about fundamentally sorting out what you know and how it is linked. Some new technologies could be incredibly beneficial so long as they are well integrated into the teams in question. They are not the answer to everything, however. Often you will have all the data you need and all that is required is a team who understand the importance of digital integration. Great customer experience comes from a culture of integration and alignment.
Finally, our best tips to ensure your customer experience is spot on always start your strategy with the customer and ask yourself the following questions:
- What will the consumer need / want from you over the next 3 years?
- What is the customer journey you need to focus your strategy around?
- What can you do that is better than anyone else in the sector (and what is the consumer benefit)?
- How will you map your resources and organisation to be able to deliver that?
- What processes, structures and technology will you need?
- What does your overall marketing ecosystem need to look like and what external partners will you need?
- How will you make the internal and external teams work brilliantly together?
- How will you measure your success?
If you want to know how to great an amazing customer experience that puts you above the rest, Flock can help. Get in touch to find out more.
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