5 Experience Predictions for Retail in 2019
In the retail industry, one that’s known for its ability to continually reinvent itself and find new ways to connect with consumers, the huge shift in consumer behavior from physical...
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Your customers know you better than you know yourself.
It can be tough to hear this — but as customers have been empowered by information, it’s increasingly true, even for the world’s top brands. You have market research dating from weeks or even months ago; they have the Internet. You have customer data stuck in organizational silos; they have five senses and rapidly increasing expectations. You have multiple (and multiplying) channels through which to engage with your brand — they each have a customer journey.
It wasn’t always like this. The relationships used to be simpler. Easier for brands to fully understand. Manage. And, ultimately, control. But now, the old world of marketing, advertising, products, services, and word of mouth has been replaced by a complex network of multi-channel interactions, mobile, and unsolicited social media conversations.
It’s not that companies in this new world lack stakeholders concerned about the customer experience. The problem is, these stakeholders are typically focused on only one part of the experience — and they’re doing so in an ever-increasing number of organizational silos. The data that’s then being collected on the customer experience is a reflection of this — rather than a mirror, reflecting a complete view of the customer journey, all there is is snapshots of various touchpoints.
As a result, there’s no longer one place that people within companies can go to see how the entire company is performing in the eyes of the customer — data that can show a company its reflection. And those “mirrors” that have been put in place? Well, they’re better described as “shards.” The data is fragmented across multiple systems and silos, it’s stale, and only shows a small part of the total story. Think about what these shards typically take the form of:
None of this constitutes a proper reflection.
The result is a growing gap between customer expectations and the ability for brands to create and maintain a unified, consistent customer experience across and between channels and organizational silos. A customer experience that delivers on a company’s brand promise — and differentiates the company from its competitors.
So what do you need to do to get the reflection that enables you to do this — to see how you’re performing in the eyes of the customer? Well, there are five primary things that need to happen to give you that clear picture:
Not surprisingly, there are big benefits to getting it right:
If you’re able to unify the above five elements into a single source of information, that provides both the big picture and the details, then you’re actually generating real, actionable and timely data on your customers’ experiences. You’ll be on your way to seeing yourself as customers do — a critical first step in leveraging customer experience as a competitive differentiator and driver of positive business outcomes.