Beating Post-Holiday Customer Fatigue: It’s Time to Get Personal

Medallia: Customer Experience

As another holiday shopping season fades into their rearview mirrors, successful retailers recognize how crucial it is to maintain momentum going into the new year. And from a CX perspective, the single biggest post-holiday momentum-killer is customer fatigue.

In the weeks leading up to the holidays, consumers spend much of their ecommerce time and money shopping for other people. Their wallets get lighter, and in many cases, their patience gets tested by unsatisfactory customer experiences.

Why can’t anyone at the call center tell them if the bookcase they’re buying for their daughter has fixed or removable shelves? What does “ships within three business days” mean to someone who absolutely has to have that dress in their hands by December 17th? And why does a customer have to endure three emails, two texts, and a robocall asking them to review a product they bought as a gift for someone else?

Turning Customer Signals Into Actionable Intelligence

The signals an organization collects over the lifetime of a customer relationship (and how the organization responds to those signals) are one of the most important weapons in a retailer’s arsenal—and one of the most effective ways to combat holiday shopping fatigue and build customer loyalty.

So how does a retailer turn a fatigued holiday customer into a post-holiday raving fan? The answer can lie in creating a truly personalized customer experience. A key way to create that experience is by understanding the totality of the customer’s journey, not just their most recent interaction. What happened on the website? Was the item delivered on time? Did they talk to the call center? Did they have a bad buying experience 16 months ago?

Most retailers collect massive amounts of raw data, including transaction information, customer feedback, marketing analytics, shopping/browsing behavior, and service histories. Yet all too often, the power of that data gets diluted, which may be because vital information lives in silos spread across multiple departments and multiple locations within the company’s CRM system.

One of the most common real-world examples of this phenomenon—and one that tends to play out over and over again—is when a customer has to explain an issue from the beginning multiple times because call center representatives don’t have access to a customer’s browsing behavior, webchat interactions, or email communications. This type of fatigue builds on itself because even after the customer has explained themselves for the third or fourth time, the call center operator is still partially paralyzed by their lack of insight into the customer’s previous interactions with the company.

Eliminating CX Silos

It’s difficult enough for a retailer to create and implement a winning loyalty strategy when all the data and customer touchpoints are right there in front of them. It can be virtually impossible when the information is spread across multiple silos.

Medallia’s CX360 Profiles addresses this crucial issue directly. As its name implies, CX360 Profiles delivers a unique 360-degree view of each customer. The profile offers visibility into every experience and interaction the customer has had across all channels of the organization. The entire universe of customer signals can be available in real-time, in one profile. This includes not only the signals collected via web surveys, digital feedback, conversations, and many other tools, but also transactional data—including customer service issues from other CRM providers such as Salesforce, ServiceNow, and Adobe. This integration allows retailers to tailor their interactions to each customer and take appropriate actions with a much more holistic and personalized approach by leveraging the additional power of Medallia’s Journey Analytics.

For example, a retailer identifies a specific item a customer was shopping for based on their website behavior. The retailer knows from the customer’s purchasing history and other transactional data that the customer is more likely to make a purchase when they receive a discount of 25 percent or more. The retailer also knows that the customer left three items in their shopping cart and that they had a webchat with a customer service representative. In that chat, the representative informed the customer that they couldn’t guarantee the delivery of the items on the specific date the customer wanted. Using the holistic view provided by Medallia CX360 Profiles and Journey Analytics tools, the retailer’s marketing team is alerted to send an email promotion encouraging the customer to complete the purchase. The offer includes 25 percent off and free 2-day shipping, which overcomes the barriers to the sale and motivates the customer to complete the transaction. And after the sale, whatever further actions the customer takes—and whatever feedback they supply—is added to the customer’s profile and accessible across all departments by anyone in the organization who needs it.

Putting aside their structural advantages, online retail titans like Amazon and Walmart enjoy unprecedented customer loyalty because they understand that a holistic, 360-degree view of their customer data is not simply a nice tool to have—it’s essential for any company that wants to compete in the upper echelons of ecommerce. Those companies also understand that the tools are only valuable if they’re used to make meaningful customer experience improvements—to their websites, apps, and email messaging, for example—and to deliver consistent and highly personalized customer experiences. To win in a world dominated by giants, retailers of all sizes need to embrace that mindset.