Tips from Experienced Retailers on How to Improve Customer Experience
The retail sector is expected to continue to experience enormous challenges in the new decade. More Company Voluntary Administrations (CVAs) and liquidations are expected resulting in mass store closures and redundancies. Grim times indeed.
But not all retailers are suffering equally and there are examples of brands who are opening new stores and appear to be doing very well. Many struggling brands are formulating innovative plans to reverse their fortunes and effectively compete with online shopping.
Improving retail customer experience (CX) is often heralded as the key to success in brick-and-mortar retail and there are many articles on how that might be achieved (including some on our own blog).
What techniques, products and services are game-changers? Innovation using social media and digital customer support are potential godsends. But these tools are just one piece of the puzzle. A wider strategy of putting shoppers first by creating a positive customer journey and retail experience are essential.
Given the time of year and the fact that it is the end of a decade of great upheaval in the retail sector, we thought it would be interesting to scour the web for useful advice on the topic from actual retailers and other industry gurus. The following are some of the most insightful thoughts and advice we found regarding customer experience management and customer experience strategy.
Hopefully they provide some inspiration and guidance, or at least get the cogs turning as to how you might improve customer interactions in your stores. Moreover, they can provide insight into how to continue growing your market share and creating loyal customers.
I would sum the general theme up in the following sentence:
“Technology is important but focus on investments that empower or free up store associates to do their jobs better, which is helping the customer have a great experience.”
On technology… “Focus on what it does for the customer and go back to what value it is adding. Is it speeding something up or saving costs, or helping the customer in some way?”“With stores you really have to make the experience come to life. Just offering 20% discount or drinks aren’t going to draw them in any more. They want something different.”Read more from Claudia
The Retail Doctor, Author, Keynote Speaker, Podcast Host
“How to compete with Amazon and against online retailers isn’t easy but the reality is it is no different than competing against other brick and mortar retailers.Until and unless you create an engaging shopping experience based on providing your shoppers with a sense of discovery, a sense of fun, a sense of belonging and a sense of pride, you’re pretty much like 90% of your competition trying to make money from the same brands they are.“Read more from Bob
“Rather than spend more money on getting new people in, we could spend a bit more time on the shop, the layout and how we present ourselves within the shop to make more of the people coming in.”Read more from Ian
“It will inevitably be survival of the fittest, through hard work and relevance. Brands that don’t rely on just one aspect of their businesses, but instead ensure that the technology supports the stores, that the product and the price points are right, and most importantly that customer service really is excellent.”Read more from Theo
“The most successful retailers today are those that view their stores as assets not liabilities. As contradictory as it may sound, they understand that the key to growing ecommerce sales is leveraging their physical infrastructure.”Read more from Natalie
“We believe that, over the next couple of years, personalised customer care will be key to improving brand experience. One-to-one correspondence, proactive contacts, multilingual agents and bespoke solutions will differentiate brands in the fashion industry.”Read more from HeatherHarry Rose
Editor of Which? Magazine
“Giving shoppers a great in-store experience is more important than ever if brands want to thrive on the High Street.“Our findings go to show that if retailers can deliver great value, quality products and first-class customer service, customers will keep coming back.“Read more from Harry
“We’re reinventing the department store to make us stand out from the competition. Our goal is to offer customers unrivalled access to expertise and impartial advice in a way that is uplifting and inspiring.”Read more from Peter