Owning the Retail Customer Experience: Increasing Revenue Through Customer Perception


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Read this report for actionable guidance on the strategy and steps to owning your customer experience storewide.

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Owning the Retail Customer Experience: Increasing Revenue Through Customer Perception

  1. 1. retailindustry Owning the Retail Customer Experience: Increasing Revenue Through Customer Perception
  2. 2. The most successful retailers are developing strategies to own 86% of consumers quit doing business with a company because the customer experience—which involves focusing everyone of a bad customer experience, up from 59% 4 years ago. in the organization on the simple, yet sophisticated task of Source: Harris Interactive, Customer Experience Impact Report. ensuring a customer’s perception of a shopping experience is greater than their expectations. To do that, it takes more than floor set changes or lighting. It takes the ability of:The New Consumer RealityIn today’s tough environment, retailers need to take a long • Executives to define the experience that will enhancehard look at their strategies for customer engagement. the brand • Field management to direct the processes and coach theirConsumers today: employees on the successful implementation• Ride a roller coaster of economic anxiety • Frontline associates to deliver on the plan to positively impact the customer’s impression of the brand• Have limited time• Have more choices than ever—both in merchandise When done effectively, owning the customer experience is a and in ways of getting it differentiation strategy that provides the retailer with a leg up on the competition.• Expect value beyond product and price• Can shop whenever and wherever they are Owning the customer experience yields tangible results that are music to a retailer’s ear. Case in point—see the followingEven with the changing consumer and shopping results from several of AchieveGlobal’s clients:environment, many retailers continue doing the same old • $1.55 increase in sales per square footthing—often focusing heavily on process improvement— • 3% increase in conversionwith expectations of differing results. Isn’t that the definitionof insanity? Forward thinking retailers are addressing these • 4% increase in units per transactionissues by aligning their organizations with the realities of • 17% increase in customer satisfaction scorestoday. More important, they are realizing that employees • 12.5% increase in average dollar salesare no longer just bodies to handle operational tasks,but a strategic differentiator of both brand and These results confirm that a carefully branded customercustomer experience. experience increases sales opportunities, drives customer loyalty, and maximizes revenue.Owning the Shopper’s Experience Corporate Customer Facing Organizations Target Markets (Store, web, in-home, catalog, call centers) Brand MERCHANDISE Experience INCOME MARKETING Expectation RETAIL Vs. GENDER & AGE OPERATIONS Perception HR/LEARNING Field IT Manager Manager Associate Revenue Customer LOCATION
  3. 3. there must be active leadership at all levels to direct the The top three drivers for investing in customer experience processes that invigorate the strategy, and develop their management are: people on the appropriate skills and behaviors necessary 1. Improve customer retention – (42%) through constant feedback and coaching. One important 2. Improve customer satisfaction – (33%) link in the leadership chain - store managers and frontline 3. Increase cross-selling and up-selling – (32%) leaders - do the critical day to day work that brings the customer experience to life. They must continually assess Aberdeen Report – Customer Experience Management: Engaging the level of service their team members provide customers, Loyal Customers to Evangelize Your Brand give feedback, both positive and constructive when necessary, and work to build a team that exceeds customerThe Path to Owning the Customer Experience expectations. Without this support, associates lackDrawing from extensive worldwide research and decades of the consistent reinforcement and application to instillexperience partnering with retail clients, AchieveGlobal has the desired behaviors for successful execution. In turn,outlined five critical components for retailers to own the customers will report inconsistent levels of satisfaction.customer experience. 5. Effective Corporate Support At All Levels1. Establish a Clear Definition Of The Desired Operational focus is still critical to a retailer’s success Customer Experience and plays a critical component of owning the customerAll members of the organization should be able to say with experience. However, it is not the only thing. Too oftenconviction, “I understand why this is important, what my corporate leadership pays attention only to productivityrole is in achieving the desired outcome, and I am committed or revenue metrics. While important, so is the need toto being a part of the solution”. Engaging everyone to say “I align those metrics and other dashboard measures to theknow, I care, and I can” is a transformative strategy – one that appropriate skills and behaviors aligned to the customeris best if it emanates from the Executive Suite and permeates experience. Doing so will align the tangible tasks andevery level down to the front-line. measures like revenue, inventory, marketing, with the2. Develop a Consistent Customer Engagement Strategy proper skills and behaviors that impact those results.Once a clearly defined experience is developed, resources,skills, and behaviors must be identified and aligned to the Assess, Evaluate, Course Correctcritical touch points or “defining moments”. Doing so will Here’s the usual scenario: store operations say they needsupport the implementation of the strategy. A consistent, training in the store. They turn to their Learning &enterprise-wide set of focused tools should be developed Development group and ask for a training program. Ato support the acquisition and application of skills and program is developed and implemented—problem solved,behaviors at all levels. Without this step, many retailers fail right? While the retail industry is known for gathering datato see long-term success. Instead, they continue to see varied on everything, very few truly utilize the data in an effectivelevels of implementation across all channels. way to assess the success of their strategies. A critical component of any strategy is to continually assess, evaluate3. Individuals Utilize The Skills & Exhibit The Behaviors that data, and make course corrections before it’s too late.Customer expectations are based on several factors By assessing the current strategy, evaluating the outcomes,including past experience, marketing, word of mouth, and and fine-tuning the strategy, retailers will continue to raiseexperiences at other service organizations. Through the the bar and stay ahead of their customers’ expectations.use of defined skills and behaviors that have been aligned toyour defining moments, your associates have the opportunityto create a positive gap between what a customer expectsand their perception of the actual experience. These 81% of companies with strong capabilities and competencies forcritical components provide your stores the opportunity delivering customer experience excellence are outperforming their competition.to create loyalty among your customers, a higher referralrate to potential customers, and ultimately, greater sales Peppers & Rogers Groupopportunities.4. Leadership Support & CoachingToo often when a customer experience strategy isimplemented, retail leadership utilizes a “fingers crossed”implementation, hoping it will stick. To truly see the desiredoutcomes that a customer experience strategy can achieve,
  4. 4. How We Can Help About AchieveGlobalTo begin on the road of developing a customer experience In the 21st century, the level of human skills willstrategy, ask yourself the following questions: determine organization success. AchieveGlobal provides exceptional development in interpersonal• What is the essence of our brand promise? business skills, giving companies the workforce they• What will it take to create a consistent experience across need for business results. Located in over 40 countries, all channels? we offer multi-language, learning-based solutions—• What is the precise customer experience that realizes globally, regionally, and locally. the promise? We understand the competition you face. Your success• What skills, attitudes, and behaviors are needed to enable a successful implementation? depends on people who have the skills to handle the challenges beyond the reach of technology. We’re• What are the responsibilities of leadership to ensure experts in developing these skills, and it’s these skills successful support and reinforcement? that turn your strategies into business success in the• What metrics will be aligned to support the ongoing 21st century. measurement of the customer experience impact? These are things technology can’t do. Think. Learn.AchieveGlobal is prepared to work with you to address Solve problems. Listen. Motivate. Explain. People withthose questions, and help design and implement a customer these skills have a bright future in the 21st century.experience strategy. The difference between consumer AchieveGlobal prepares you for that world.loyalty and indifference lies in what the customer feels—their emotional connection to your brand and people. Adetailed focus on the role human interaction plays is criticalto owning the customer experience. Without it, it’s thedefinition of insanity. World Headquarters 8875 Hidden River Parkway, Suite 400 Tampa, Florida 33637 USA Toll Free: 800.456.9390 www.achieveglobal.com© 2012 AchieveGlobal, Inc. M01241 v. 5.0 (02/2012)