In a recent study by Convey and eft, researchers surveyed 200 retail supply chain executives about the role and importance of customer experience (CX) in the last leg of delivery and its impact on supply chain performance.
The study found that higher customer expectations are leading to new challenges in transparency, speed, and real-time communication between retailers and their customers. For retail supply chain executives, the main priority is now providing a consistently great customer experience, whether that be when shoppers receive packages or need to return them.
The study addressed four major CX issues that supply chain executives encounter:
- Understanding the importance of CX
- Struggling with technology that does not address CX needs
- Integrating CX into business operations
- Positively impacting both operations and CX
Understanding the Importance of CX
Retail supply chain executives seem to be catching on to just how important CX is to the survival of their business. Of the 200 retail executives surveyed, 83% said that customer experience is now an organization-wide initiative that they are feeling pressure to improve. In addition, 56% reported that CX measurements are becoming a key part of making operational decisions.
These high percentages are significant because they illustrate how retail supply chain executives want better CX, but the technology and success must carry through into operational improvement as well.
Struggling with Technology That Isn’t Addressing CX Needs
One of the biggest challenges for supply chain executives is equipping themselves with technology that is not only powerful, but that also helps address CX needs and improve the overall customer delivery experience. Only 3% of retailers said they have a current program that fully supports improving the customer experience. The overwhelming majority of supply chain executives said that their current programs do nothing to improve the delivery experience.
Integrating CX into Business Operations
In addition to improving the customer experience, supply chain executives said that they wanted to integrate customer experience into their operations. In fact, 71% of respondents said this was crucial or very important to their business. At only a percentage point below that (70%), executives said that it was crucial or very important to improve two-way communication between the brand and the customers regarding delivery expectations, package tracking, and resolution of delivery options.
And just a percentage point below that (69%), supply chain executives said that the ability to take dynamic and proactive action on customer experience issues was crucial or very important. These results illustrate how important it is to get voice of customer (VoC) technology in the hands of supply chain executives.
Positively Impacting Both Operations and CX
Supply chain executives may have accepted the need to integrate CX initiatives into their business, but they say reducing business costs and improving margins is still crucial (51%) or very important (28%).
Fortunately for customers, retail supply chains have recognized the need to provide great customer experiences throughout the entire purchase/return process. Unfortunately, the majority of these brands still need proof that CX has a positive impact financially and operationally on businesses, or at least need a nudge in the right direction.
To learn more about the ROI of CX initiatives download our new eBook, The Five Steps to an ROI-Focused CX Program.