Seamless Retail Experiences

It is no secret that today’s retailers are faced with unique challenges. The rapidly-changing, ever-evolving retail landscape continues to present questions, roadblocks, and pain points that retailers need to address. These tribulations can take many forms; defining customer loyalty in emerging consumers, creating seamless retail experiences across channels, tracking a customer base that seems to be in multiple places at once, and keeping up with a digital landscape that changes as frequently as the Cleveland Browns change quarterbacks. 

In such a fast-paced environment, how are retail brands expected to succeed? The keys lie in your customer data—and how you leverage it. 

3 Necessities for Stand-Out, Seamless Customer Experiences in Retail

  1. Integrate Data From Everywhere Into Your CX Platform
  2. Increase Experience Awareness
  3. Encourage a Culture of Commitment 

#1: Integrate Data From Everywhere Into Your CX Platform

One of the most important keys to deliver seamless customer experiences is to have seamless data integration from everywhere into your CX platform. In order to form a holistic view of your customer’s experience, you need to be able to analyze every data point you can. 

Your customer’s data comes in many different forms (you can learn more about customer data in this article from InMoment Customer Insights Expert Jessica Petrie). Whether it be surveys, review sites, or social media. If you only look at one or two of those data sources, your view of the customer is incomplete, and it may cause you to make decisions for a customer base that you don’t fully understand. 

To continue to provide stand-out experiences, you need to view the customer experience from every angle, and across every channel. This is done by making sure your CX platform is capable of ingesting all of your data and displaying it in an easily accessible, centralized location so that you can access holistic customer insights whenever you need. 

#2: Increase Experience Awareness

Across the hundreds of brands and partners we’ve worked with here at InMoment, we have learned what works, formed a cohesive and proven approach, and can now guide our clients toward a successful CX governance strategy. This strategy will look different depending on the size and structure of your organization. 

Regardless of what you call it or where it lives, you need to have a plan for how you will make your CX program an organization-wide, customer-centric initiative—and keep it that way. It has to be more than just saying you are customer-centric, or having the word “customer” in your mission statement. 

Every department should have a window into the insights you gain from your CX program—and be able to leverage them in their decision making. The information you receive from customers needs to be shared with all other departments and teams, not siloed in different departments, otherwise, you could be sitting on insights that could make a huge difference in your bottomline. When you break down those silos and create channels of communication across departments, your business will see more success in the areas that matter most!

The first step to creating that kind of organizational support and buy-in for your CX program is to create a cross-functional council. This council, made up of representatives from every part of the organization, should be chaired by the CEO or a high-level CX champion. 

This council should aim to manage the activities of the tactical working teams that are striving to improve the customer experience as well as communicate expectations throughout the company and particularly to the customer-facing associates. 

For example, many large organizations have a Chief Customer Officer, an executive professional in charge of the company’s relationship with the customer, who reports to the CEO.   

Truly best in class CX companies will often have what we call CX Champions, Ambassadors or Champions scattered throughout the company that are championing or spearheading efforts within each of the silos we discussed.

#3: Encourage a Culture of Commitment 

A “Culture of Commitment” is the ultimate goal of any customer experience program. In a company with a true Culture of Commitment, every single employee is invested in making experiences better for customers. Whether it be in store, over the phone, or online, these employees are the face of your CX program, and they understand the impact they are making on customer experiences every day. 

When your employees are engaged in the experience, your organization will benefit. Did you know that 70% of the time, a person will become a repeat customer when their complaint is resolved? And that engaged employees can increase an organization’s sales by up to 20%? 

By having engaged, customer-centric employees, you will see an increase in the frontline metrics that matter to your organization. Frontline employees are the biggest customer facing assets your organization has. While executive sponsorship is important, your CX program needs buy-in from everyone in the organization in order to be successful. 

How a Global Footwear Retailer & InMoment Client Started with Customer Data, Fostered CX Governance, and Inspired a Culture of Customer Commitment

One of our clients, a global footwear retailer, leveraged all three of these strategies to move toward a fully customer-centric approach to business. 

It started a few years ago, when an operations team leader, who was passionate about his team being customer-centric, started using customer data points as supporting points in conversations with his team. 

These conversations would look like “Did you know that when our associates offer additional merchandise at the point of purchase, there is a 17% average transaction size uplift.” or “Did you know when our associates are successful helping a customer try on a shoe, they are 3x more likely to make a purchase.”  

This CX champion was able to leverage these customer insights to socialize this information, and make other departments and employees aware of how they could improve the customer experience. Through these actions, a small cross-functional CX governance committee was formed. 

This team was able to get the attention of the executives with their data-driven decision making and were therefore able to help the c-suite realize that factors such as employee behavior, customer behavior, and customer insights are all important factors that drive sales and increase the bottom line. 

After the C-suite executives realized the importance of a CX program, they invested more into it. The CX program adapted and started to utilize an integrated approach to customer experience, where they combined insights from different areas of the organization. And with that approach, they are set to set off the same cycle of success over and over again!

So What? 

Based on our expertise and the lessons we have learned from all the CX programs we have helped grow, we have formulated a list of next steps that will help you make progress towards integrated CX!

Step #1: Go Beyond Surveys

Integrated CX isn’t just about surveys. Find other signals in your organization, and integrate them into your program. 

Step #2: Understand Emerging Customers

Continue to understand your customers. But, you also need to listen to the non-purchaser. Having a deep understanding of your future or potential customers will help you make business decisions. 

Step #3: Get Ahead, Stay Ahead

Having a plan in place is key to your CX success. At InMoment, we often talk about designing with the end in mind. Knowing where you want your CX program to go and what you want to accomplish is key for starting out in a CX program. 

Step #4: Action, Action, Action

Go to work. Identify the initiatives that will have an economic impact. All action taken should be tied back to a specific outcome. 

If you want to learn more about leveraging customer data to craft seamless, differentiated experiences in store & online, watch the full webinar here!

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Retail Banks

Collecting data with no way to use it is like learning to drive without a car; it just doesn’t make sense. For retail banks, and most organizations, collecting data is only half the battle in the world of customer experience. Whether it be transactional surveys, online reviews, or a market research report about your customers, the data you collect needs to not just be analyzed, it needs to serve as a road map of future business decisions.

Using customer data to influence your business decisions will lead to a more streamlined, profitable banking organization that actively engages customers. Don’t just take our word for it, research shows that companies who adopt data-driven marketing are six times more likely to be profitable year-over-year. 

Every day, your customers produce data across a vast amount of touchpoints, whether that’s on your banking app, in your call center, or across any of your other channels. That data is there to help you understand their behavior, their needs, and even predict their future behavior. But, in order to do this, that data has to be in a centralized platform in order to be readily available for evaluation and future strategic planning. 

Once you have this data at your disposal, there are a number of ways you can use it to improve experiences for your banking customers. With so many ways to use customer data, we have picked 5 strategies for retail banks looking to leverage customer data.

5 Strategies for Retail Banks to Get the Most Out of Their Customer Data

Strategy #1: Capture Meaningful Data

You need to capture data that is meaningful to your bank, and that is related to the current objectives you have in mind. If you run a local credit union, there’s no point in asking your members what their favorite flavor of ice cream is. This is a more extreme example, but you get what we’re trying to say. If your goal is to improve the digital experience, you don’t want to ask about the in-branch experience.

By designing an experience program with your end goals in mind, you’ll know what data you need to collect to achieve those goals. Knowing what data you need to collect will outline what questions you need to be asking your customers in order to get that data, and consequently, achieve those goals you originally planned. 

Retail banks already have access to critical customer data. Age, gender, geographic location, and spending habits are data points that can already be leveraged. But, mixing these data points with structured feedback via social media or surveys, as well as meaningful data captured in order to achieve a desired goal, will allow retail banks to get a holistic view of their customer and their customer experience. 

Wondering how you can refine your data-gathering strategy to leverage the right listening methods at the right time? Check out this quick article.

Strategy #2: Master Omnichannel Experiences

Retail banking customers today demand consistent, intuitive omnichannel experiences that are personalized and accessible anywhere. However, most retail banks fail to deliver this and are unable to monetize customer data through their products and services. 

Research shows that online banking has increased by 23% and mobile banking has increased by 30%. This means that customers are stepping away from the teller, and toward the chat assistant on your bank’s website or app. Although the medium is changing, customers still expect the same experience that they received inside a branch to be consistent with the one they receive online. 

By mastering omnichannel experiences, you will set yourself apart from the competition, and keep your customers coming back time and time again, whether they are on their phone, computer, or visiting you in person. 

Strategy #3: Break Down Data Silos

Breaking down data silos and combining data from multiple sources across a banking organization can increase efficiency and control in a fast-changing and demanding environment. 

Retail banks receive data from multiple sources and departments. If these various pathways of customer data do not converge on a central location, retail banks risk having a distorted view of the customer experience and risk an increase in customer churn. 

By having all of your customer data in one place, you can easily access multiple data points from different locations across your organization. This will provide you with a 360-degree view of a customer’s activity and engagement with the bank and will allow you to make well-informed decisions with your customer base in mind. 

Strategy #4: Collect Data Across the Entire Customer Journey

Retail banks can achieve their goals by tracking the customer journey, and finding areas of improvement. When doing this, it is important to track the entire customer journey. While a traditional bank may track the customer journey as opening an account, transactions, and borrowing, you should be tracking the steps it took for a customer to open an account, such as their first visit to your website. Where other banks track transactions, you should track specific spending habits in order to know your customer and personalize their experience. 

Retail banks must keep the customers at the heart of the journey by tracking key moments in their experiences and improve these moments in the customer journey.

Strategy #5: Analyze Behavior and Emotions

Throughout the data collection process, it is important to remember that your customers cannot be reduced to just a mix of data points. Your customers have emotions, and they make emotional decisions. Without cultivating positive emotions in customers, banks risk being forgotten. You need to know your customers behavior, so that you know where to focus to make the biggest impact on them. 

According to J.D. Power, Customers in the retail banking industry are not happy with the level of personalization they experience in their transactions—but the customer feedback you collect could help change all that! Designing experiences to create positive emotions increases customer lifetime value and reduces risk of customer churn. Learn how retail banking giant Virgin Money analyzed customer emotions across the journey to create specific improvements and positive emotions in this video!

Leveraging Your Customer Data

Your customer data should be one of your biggest assets. It can be used to solve problems, and make decisions with your customers’ needs in mind. But remember, data alone cannot make those changes—you need to make sure you’re leveraging the right technology, taking the advice of experts, and taking action based on the insights you derive from that data. Put in place a framework that ensures that type of continuous experience improvement, and you are sure to attract new customers, retain old ones, and, ultimately, make your customer experience program a key part of your retail bank’s success!

For more information about how retail banks can leverage customer data effectively, checkout this white paper on how to stand out in your industry!

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Social Listening Solution

Many organizations are drowning in pools of untapped social data. Why? Because options to structure and analyze that data can be limited and even if businesses are able to compile that data, it often remains siloed from other data, such as voice of customer (VoC), call center, and more. That’s where InMoment’s game-changing customer social listening solution comes into play.

InMoment’s solution not only allows brands to access that data, but also to integrate that with other data sources, providing scalability and the deep, data-driven understanding that teams need to achieve their goals. 

But don’t just take our word for it! Check out the  three benefits real companies have realized leveraging InMoment’s customized social listening solution.

3 Benefits of Leveraging a Customized Social Listening Solution 

Benefit #1: Greater Access to and Value from Social Data

Benefit #2: Structure Massive Amounts of Natural Language Feedback

Benefit #3: Effectively Filter Social Content to Only Extract Relevant Data

Benefit #1: Greater Access to and Value from Social Data

A consumer electronics brand who partnered with InMoment previously approached Voice of Customer by designing, distributing, and analyzing a wide range of surveys. The brand knew they needed to diversify and optimize their approach to customer experience (CX) to continue to improve, so they partnered with InMoment! Their new partnership allowed the company to integrate social media content with their VoC data. This push allowed them to: 

  • Reduce survey spend by substituting social signals where possible
  • “True up” social data with survey responses to explore the feasibility of reducing their survey spend
  • Identify common themes and correlations in the social data to use as a reliable, immediately-actionable proxy for customer survey responses

Benefit #2: Structure Massive Amounts of Natural Language Feedback

A leading architect firm has leveraged the InMoment platform to structure and analyze massive amounts of natural language feedback. The firm now has the ability to achieve a deep, data-driven understanding of customer experience in airports by mining omnichannel social media data from dozens of America’s airports. The result?

  • A data-driven voice of customer program that can help win contracts and build airports that better serve stakeholders and travelers alike
  • More meaningful and accessible analysis of social data via the platform’s intuitive functionality 

And to top it all off? The customized social listening solution had a one week integration time, encompassing three data sources, 869,973 words, 30,000 travelers, and the top ten airports!

Benefit #3: Effectively Filter Social Content to Only Extract Relevant Data

Both brands we mentioned before had what many companies think they need: large amounts of data. But the problem with so much data is that it is difficult to find the signal through the noise and filter out the insights that will really make a difference.  But with InMoment’s social listening solution’s ability to effectively filter out actionale, relevant data, these two companies were able to see incredible return on investment.

Here’s what the benefits look like:

  • Run better surveys by identifying insight gaps
  • Easily configure flexible one-off analyses while also establishing and validating long-term trends
  • Help leadership teams make better-informed decisions around marketing and product strategy

When it comes to mining social data, working smarter, not harder is always the best route to take. Many companies struggle to grasp a true understanding of their client experience, thinking they have an ear to the ground because the data is rolling in. But all data is not created equal! That’s why it’s essential to have  a customized social listening solution to unlock  structured data, analyze for key insights, and capitalize on the most relevant opportunities. 

Learn more about InMoment’s customized social listening solutions here!

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E-Commerce Experience

E-commerce is one of the fastest growing industries of this decade. Thanks to COVID, digital roadmaps across industries have quickly accelerated. If you weren’t yet online, it didn’t take long for brands to adapt when brick and mortar businesses across Asia Pacific were forced to shut down in 2020 and 2021.  

It’s not been easy for e-commerce brands. After a whirlwind of COVID-spurred digital transformation, rapid brand expansion, and supply chain woes, consumer expectations and their relationships with e-commerce brands have changed before our eyes. So what can these brands do to get ahead of customer expectations? The key is to dive into your customer data. And we’re here to help.

Tip #1: Rethink the Digital Customer Journey

Because of the rapid growth that businesses have undergone, e-commerce brands have not had an opportunity to slow down and evaluate the experience they are delivering. The acceleration of digital roadmaps during the pandemic has meant that many elements might have been half-baked. Now that the “new normal” is underway, e-commerce brands should rethink the digital customer journey.

Tip #2: Invest in Customer Care

A lot of businesses had to scale back their customer care teams during the pandemic because they couldn’t cope with the sheer amount of call volumes enquiring about updated delivery processes and updated policies. We saw in these times of crisis that much of customer care is related to the digital journey. When customers have an inquiry, you need to find ways for customers to self-serve or use technology to reduce the number of enquiries that need to involve your care team.

Tip #3: Upgrade Your Technology

Advanced technology is now available to intercept customers browsing on site, and ask them questions to understand their current experience. InMoment’s Digital Intercept solution has the ability to capture rich data from logged in users when they’re taking a survey. 

You can also integrate InMoment’s Rapid Resolution Engine, which is designed to analyse customer verbatim in real time. The technology uses tags that are customised to your businesses to provide helpful links, ultimately resolving concern and complaints,  or “solve in survey,” before customers have to call into the contact centre. 

Tip #4: Collect All Pieces of Data Possible: Explicit + Implicit + Operational

Most brands are proficient at collecting explicit data like NPS scores and customer verbatim. But have you considered layering implicit data over the top of it? Implicit data points like customer sentiment, emotion, cursor movement, and more can help you paint a more accurate picture of the customer experience. As a final step, adding in operational data like customer value and  segmentation will allow you to be really targeted to the best place to trigger a digital intercept along the customer journey. 

For more on upgrading customer experiences in e-commerce, check out this eBook “4 Digital Quick Wins” 

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Customer Listening Experience Improvement

For many years now, conventional wisdom has held that the best way to listen to as many customers as possible is to turn every customer listening post within your customer experience (CX) program on and simply capture all insights that come your way. This strategy makes a simple kind of sense on paper; if you’re listening to as many people as possible, you’re bound to hear something pertinent to your CX and organizational goals, right?

The answer to that question is more complicated than conventional wisdom would have you believe. While it’s true that this approach will gain you a lot of data, a large portion of it may be wholly irrelevant to the CX goals you’re trying to achieve. At the same time, you may miss out on highly relevant data when you focus only on customer listening posts while leaving other signals, such as behavioral and operational data, aside. 

So, is there a better, more efficient way to find data pertinent to what you need your program to achieve? As it happens, the answer is yes, and we’re going to get into it right now!

Where the Drive for Data Came From

If there’s a more targeted approach to gathering the data and insights you need to achieve Experience Improvement (XI), why is the standard approach to simply gather as much data as possible? To answer this question, we need to remember that over the last 20 years, the word “data” has been seen by many organizations as a prescription for any business, technology, or marketplace problem. At the same time, the cost to capture and analyze data has also gone down significantly.

But don’t be under any illusions;  just turning listening posts on and gathering as much data as possible does not translate directly to actionable business and experience solutions. Frankly, in most cases where CX programs are not focused and use all kinds of listening posts but rarely all relevant behavioral, operational, and contextual data, the resulting insights frequently leave brands with an endlessly tall mountain of white noise. That’s the state of affairs for far too many experience programs, and it’s why a lot of them fail.

A Better Approach

Rather than begin by flipping every light switch on and inhaling as much data as possible, brands should take a further step back when activating or refurbishing their experience program. They must, quite simply, design their program with their end goal in mind before any listening posts are even activated and before deciding which other data to ingest. 

Taking time to design with the end in mind also allows you to consider which audiences are most relevant to which goals, as well as the approaches you need to take in order to connect to each one. This is a more targeted methodology than simply lying in wait for a large lake of data, and while it requires more initial legwork, the end result is a wealth of actionable intelligence that by and large curates itself.

Starting with clarity on intended outcomes and getting company-wide agreement on key performance indicators (KPI’s)  gives your team concrete, quantifiable goals to connect your initiative to. It lays the basis for the management support and corporate buy-in you need to be successful.

Applying What You’ve Learned

Whether you’re intending to strengthen loyalty and grow your business with existing customers or to make efforts to win new ones, the approach I’ve laid out here makes all the difference when it comes not ‘just’ to ensuring the success of your CX program, but also creating Experience Improvement for your customers and employees that drives business outcomes. Patience and forethought will save you time that you’d otherwise spend attempting to connect data to business outcomes.

And, don’t forget to design your customer listening posts (and, consequently, your products and services) in an inclusive way. This is imperative not only from an ethical perspective, but also key to making your Experience Improvement initiatives truly effective from CX and EX standpoints.

Click here to read my full-length PoV on how customer listening with diversity and inclusion in mind can make the methodology I’ve detailed here even more beneficial for your customers, your employees, and your bottom line.

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3 Simple Steps That Make Your CX Program Actually Move The Needle

It’s no secret that many companies’ experience programs aren’t delivering the results that those brands expect and, frankly, need. Too many customer experience (CX) initiatives are stuck solely on giving companies metrics, which by themselves cannot deliver a meaningfully improved experience and thus a stronger bottom line.

It’s no secret that many companies’ experience initiatives aren’t delivering the results that those brands expect and, frankly, need. Too many customer experience (CX) programs are stuck solely on giving companies metrics, which by themselves cannot deliver a meaningfully improved experience and thus a stronger bottom line.

However, there is a solution. Companies don’t have to stay stuck merely “managing” their experiences. We’ve put together three proven steps that companies can follow to take their program, and thus their brand, to the top:

  1. Determining Business Objectives
  2. Gathering The Right Data
  3. Taking Intelligent Action

Step #1: Determining Business Objectives

Traditionally, many firms have been in such a hurry to start listening in on their customers’ tastes and preferences. And while this eagerness is admirable, it often results in wantonly turning listening posts on everywhere and waiting for insights to roll in. Listening is important, yes, but listening passively is worlds different than listening intently. The former focuses on gathering metrics, feeding those metrics into a piece-by-piece reactive strategy, and calling it a day. The latter calls for businesses to firmly establish what they want to achieve with their experience program before turning any ears on.

There are several merits to determining business objectives before listening to customers, and they all have to do with looking before leaping. First, companies need to decide what business problems they want their experience program to solve. Foregoing this step and listening for the sake of listening is why so many programs either fail or provide ROI that’s murky at best.

Additionally, companies can take considering objectives as an opportunity to tie their experience programs to financial goals. Like we just said, it’s hard to prove a CX initiative’s ROI if it has no clear objective beyond just listening to customers. Spelling your program’s goals out in financial terms gives CX teams a hard number to work toward—then, when that number is achieved, those teams will have a much easier time using that achievement to leverage additional funding in the boardroom.

Step #2: Gathering The Right Data

There’s another reason why it pays to stop and think before turning listening posts on in every channel: some customer segments are more worth listening to than others. This idea may sound a bit callous, but think about it—a listening program geared toward evaluating a loyalty program is going to be much more useful if it hones in on long-term customers instead of casting a net all over the place.

This notion is also known as the concept of gathering the right data. It’s okay for brands to use different listening posts for different audiences—in fact, this strategy is much more likely to garner useful intelligence. Thus, it’s just as important for companies to consider their audiences as it is concrete financial goals when it comes to experience programs. The right data can yield the right intelligence, which can enable brands to take the right steps toward transformational success.

Step #3: Taking Intelligent Action

Much of the work in this step will already have been done if companies follow the previous two steps correctly. Like we said, it’s a good idea for brands to look before they leap and carefully consider what they hope to accomplish with a listening program. Yes, the goal of “listening” is all well and good, but the problem with experience management is that the buck stops there. Take your CX aspirations further than gathering metrics and decide what that listening is meant to accomplish. More customer acquisition? Retention? Lowering cost to serve? Set those goals and attach dollar amounts to them.

Then, take some time to consider which audiences you need to listen to in order to achieve those goals. Arming yourself with concrete goals and intelligence from the right audiences will enable your organization to take the meaningful action it needs to reach the top of its vertical, make a stronger bottom line, and create an emotional, connective experience for both customers and employees. Companies can use these steps to move the needle and take their program from experience management to something far more profound: experience improvement.

Want to learn more about how CX programs can move the needle and create lasting success for businesses, customers, and employees? Check out our new POV article on the subject, written by EVP Brian Clark, here.

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