Commerce Trends

by Manhattan Associates

Keeping The Customer Experience Spark Alive

It’s the month of romance and it’s all about love, relationships and showing your other half you care. So why shouldn’t the same apply in the world of retail?

Let’s face it, customer experience has been a big buzzword for some time. For many consumers, it can be the difference between saying ‘I do’ to a purchase or swiping left due to a negative experience. So it’s no surprise that retailers face a continuing battle to get it right.

One of the main issues is that customer demands are ever-changing. Instant insight to product availability, next or same day delivery, smooth checkout process, multiple return options, seamless cross-channel experience… It can be difficult for retailers to keep up. And the changing nature of expectations mean that retailers always have to be one step ahead.

Like any relationship, the one with your customers needs to be nurtured, otherwise they’re just going to go somewhere else. So how do you keep the spark going and keep things fresh enough to stand the test of time?

Rekindling your consumers

When it comes to today’s customer, it’s complicated. A huge 60% to 70% of the decision-making process occurs before any direct retailer interaction even happens. Consumers will flit between the store and online, researching reviews, heading in store to see and feel the product and even comparing prices before actually making a purchase.

A little face to face time can go a long way in making customers feel valued and adding to a positive customer experience. Encourage your Store Associates to engage with customers early in their buying journey and understand that customers are not only looking for advice, information and validation but also want to enjoy the experience.

A seamlessly married online experience in-store can not only make a Store Associate’s job a lot easier but also offers the potential of upselling relevant products. Equipping them with mobile devices, for example, provides opportunity to get truly personal with customers and rekindle the connection you might have been lacking.

Get engaged

According to Brendan Witcher, principal analyst at Forrester Research, as reported in The Wall Street Journal, “90% of organisations say that they are focused on personalising customer experiences, yet only 40% of shoppers say that information they get from retailers is relevant to their tastes and interests.” That is a huge gap between goal and reality, so retailers need to really get engaged with their customers if they are to succeed in an achieving an omnichannel view of each customer.

Our new Customer Engagement solution aims to solve this. It is the first solution that combines unstructured data from customer conversations with structured order information so retailers can make instant service improvements. This provides a single, comprehensive view of the customer which eliminates multiple applications and simplifies the process of analysing each customer’s buying journey. Customer Engagement works seamlessly with Enterprise Order Management to predict and identify potential issues and automatically create cases to correct them before they become problems. This means retailers can personalise and optimise the whole of the buyer journey to make for a more prosperous relationship!

It’s a perfect match!

So, what we’re trying to say is by paying your customers some love and attention, you will find yourself reaping the rewards. Focussing on customer experience shouldn’t just be a one-off effort, it should be a business imperative adhered to year-round. If done right, it will create the long-lasting relationships you’re been seeking.