I came across a rather thought-provoking quote the other day. It was from Sam Walton, founder of Walmart:
“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”
It’s a thought that most would consider common sense. It’s obvious that with no customers to buy your goods, then you’d have no business. Not only is it critical to have customers, but ensuring they keep coming back is even more important.
It’s interesting then, that according to Empathica’s consumer insights research this past May, we discovered that 58.5% of consumers agreed that customer service was getting worse. That’s an incredible stat that seemingly flies in the face of common sense. Why would you want to alienate close to two thirds of your customer base?
The result of this is, in today’s world of retail, the biggest opportunities for growth no longer lie in product innovation. Instead, as some have started to promote, the idea that exceptional service should be added to the list of products you offer.
Retailers need to tap back in to the emotional connection that consumers can build when brands are able to deliver on an exceptional experience and compelling promise. But where does one start? Or rather, how can I define a path to improvement? At a brand level, and at a location level.
That’s where customer experience programs come in.
The reality is that customer experience management is not a new concept. However, customer behaviors are changing and the expectations they carry have changed as well. That’s why at Empathica, we see four keys to building a better customer experience.
- Identify the key touch points in the customer journey
- Orchestrate a memorable and unique retail brand experience
- Build an emotional connection and link the shopper + brand + lifestyle + associate + product equation
- Build customer advocacy
Building that memorable experience for your customers can give them a sense of ownership and emotional connection to your brand. In today’s retail climate this is the only way to grow your business in a sea of commodity products.
If Sam Walton where still around, he might even tell you it’s the only way to keep your job…