Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to submit an article to Customer Experience Magazine. With the holiday shopping season in full swing I discussed how the rush of customers at the end of the year is both a great sales opportunity but also a time when customer experience is put to the test.
In the article, “How to Deliver a Festive Retail Experience in 4 Steps”, I outline four strategies retailers can employ to build and optimise the customer experience they deliver.
1. Identify the key touch points in the customer journey.
From the very beginning of a customer visit, starting from the outside looking in (the view from the parking lot, the street, or shopping centre) all the way through to the checkout, you need a deep understanding of the important cues in the environment that build a great customer experience. A facility’s visual layout, the product and its positioning, the signage and the experience touch points with people – all these can act as key moments in the journey a customer takes.
2. Orchestrate a memorable and unique retail brand experience.
The customer feedback and insights from the touchpoints along the customer journey can be used to derive store level action plans. Using the power of science can help to focus your teams on improving the areas of the customer experience that will have the highest impact by understanding the “drivers of the drivers” behind customer loyalty.
3. Build an emotional connection and a real community with your customers, employees and your brand.
With the right insights and the right action plan you can get inside the minds of your customers to understand – and predict – what makes them choose you. The result can be a holistic and highly-predictive model of what drives customer loyalty for your business, building an emotional connection between you and your customers.
4. Go beyond satisfaction and drive customer advocacy.
It’s no secret that consumers trust the word of their friends, family and colleagues over any website or marketing campaigns you might implement – no matter how compelling or creative those campaigns are. The holidays are a time when people will gather with their loved ones, and connect online with those that may be further away. Amplify great experiences through your advocates. Identify and capitalise on your best customers and turn them into active advocates for your brand by letting them easily share their stories through their social media networks.