When customers buy something from a large online retailer like Amazon, they click a few buttons and their product shows up a few days later. That’s great, but today’s customer wants something more from retail brands than the product itself. One of the most substantial ways to differentiate your brand is through your customer experience. Instead of selling customers a product that they can just as easily buy from another retailer, you need to sell the experience surrounding that product.
Here are seven major ways that you can provide a superior experience, attract more customers, and improve brand loyalty:
1: Create a cycle of success for your employees. Having well-trained, content, and confident employees in every department improves customer service. Your business operations do not exist independently of each other, so problems in your accounting department will eventually create problems for your customers. You can avoid these kinds of problems by centralizing all necessary business functions using an ERP system designed especially for retail.
2: Offer great products – and ensure availability. Determine optimal assortments and quantities using business intelligence, social monitoring, and similar tools to ensure that you have sufficient quantities of all the products your customers want.
3: Listen to your customers. In the era of social media and direct customer engagement, there’s no excuse for not knowing what your shoppers want. But don’t ask for their opinions only to ignore them. Instead, really listen. Listening to your customer doesn’t just mean responding to their comments and questions, but also gauging your brand image and whether or not your marketing campaigns are sending the right message.
To simplify the collection of this feedback, connecting a business intelligence solution like Visionet’s AcuitySpark to your omni-channel ERP platform can seamlessly generate critical reports about every aspect of your customer’s journey. You will be able to focus on the specifics of individual customer experiences while also gaining a better overall view of how your operations enable these experiences.
4: Choose the right ERP implementation partner. This minimizes the risk of data loss or disruption. A good technology partner also becomes a valuable resource for your employees when they start using the new system, and provides a complete range of post-implementation ERP services. As an added bonus, the right partner will also help you save money by taking full advantage of your existing IT infrastructure instead of insisting on an expensive “rip and replace” approach.
5: Be where your customers are! There are tons of opportunities to personalize the experience for your customers, ranging from sending in-store promotions straight to their device (35% of global customers use their phones in-store to search for discounts or coupons1), to offering multi-channel customer service. You need to engage each customer using their preferred retail channel and create a shopping experience that matches their tastes from start to finish.
6: Remember that it doesn’t stop with the sale. An existing customer is 50% more likely to try a new product and 31% more likely to spend more than a new customer2, which means that the positive impression that your retail brand can make by creating a positive after-sales experience is priceless. Your existing customers can become your brand’s biggest advocates. After all, are customers more likely to listen to a TV commercial, or a close friend who really loves your brand?
7: Be consistent in your branding, policies, product quality, pricing, and more. If your website mobile app look different, or your customer service representatives provide different information, it confuses your customers as well as your internal operations. Maintain the same company-wide standards, policies, and design language from the beginning, and stick with them. Having a single dashboard for your website, mobile app, social networks, and other branded forms of communication can help you maintain consistency.
Notice how all of these tips focus on the customer experience. In retail today, it’s impossible to compete with giants like Amazon on price or selection. However, smaller retailers can provide a customer experience that goes above and beyond what Amazon can offer. Delivering memorable experiences will become the driving force behind your business success for years to come.
Want to learn more about the best tools and techniques for a winning customer experience strategy? Contact Visionet Systems to schedule your complimentary consultation.
- PwC 2016 Total Retail report