After three years of working successfully with Albertsons stores in the Southern and Southwest divisions, ICC/Decision Services has expanded its customer satisfaction survey and mystery shopping programs across all Albertson's LLC stores.
Up until recently, researchers and industry thought-leaders only held faith in omnichannel’s eventual takeover of the retail world. With other large industries such as movie rental, music distribution, travel, and the newspaper business going through similarly profound transformations as consumers increasingly utilized more integrative technology, many forecasted the same shift take place within retail.
A recent study seems to confirm these forecasts have already begun to come true. Although a total “takeover” may be something of an over exaggeration at least for now, the research shows 37% of US shoppers combining in-store and online sources of information when shopping. Let’s break the research down a little further, looking closer at the study details and analyzing what this means for the future.
For many of us requiring prescription medication either regularly or on occasion, the wide selection of pharmacy locations presents people with an often-unavoidable decision-making process: which pharmacy should I fill my prescriptions at?
Decades ago, a consumer’s choices regarding where to get their medication and cosmetic products was most likely very limited compared to the number of pharmacies available even in smaller communities today.
With larger retailers establishing pharmacies inside traditional retail stores in an effort to offer customers a convenient way to pick up their medications while they shop for other items, many have begun to wonder what motivates shoppers to choose where to receive their medications and beauty products.
To answer this question, ICC/Decision Services carried out a study to discover what aspects of pharmacy service were valued most by customers when deciding where to bring their business.
We’ve touched on a wide range of customer experience considerations companies are using to meet the fast growing expectations of customers, but there’s one part of the equation brands commonly pass over: your customers’ actual connection with the brand from channel to channel.
Investing in reorienting your customer experience strategy can mean implementing some very big changes to your brand. Getting it right the first time requires a detailed understanding of where your customer touchpoints lie, which of those touchpoints are garnering more activity than others, and what kinds of customers are using specific channels to find and purchase what they’re looking for.
Creating a customer journey map is a particularly effective way to visualize the way customers flow through each of your brand’s channels. Journey maps can help you solve three significant problems related to the quality of your customers’ experiences:
- Your existing touchpoints aren’t having an effect on customers’ decisions about what to purchase
- Poor customer retention
- Disinterest among customers in any one of your channels’ buying environments
Let’s look deeper at what goes into creating a detailed customer journey map as well as the best ways to use it to note your company’s strengths, diagnose weaknesses, and plan for the future.
With the national spotlight on the pharmaceutical retail industry, ICC/Decision Services conducts broad-reaching survey regarding consumers’ pharmacy and health/beauty care decisions and preferences.
New York, NY (PRWEB) October 02, 2013
For the third installment of our monthly Customer Experience recap, the ICC/Decision Services Team would like to share with our blog readership a few of this month’s interesting developments in the field of Customer Experience.
The ICC/Decision Services Team
Macy’s Expands Omnichannel To Target Millennial Shoppers
After careful data analysis of their sales demographics, Macy’s has announced new upcoming in-store features in an effort to expand their already blossoming omnichannel development points.
Topics: Customer Experience
One of the most relevant factors contributing to the increasingly complex retail environment is showrooming. While just about every industry analyst acknowledges its existence, opinions are still divided over whether it’s advantageous or disadvantageous to in-store retailers. On the surface, showrooming certainly looks like a problem––customers seem to use your store more like an interactive museum than a place to purchase products.
Last year, a Harris Poll found that 43% of US adults participate in showrooming in one way or another.
They enter, find an item they’ve discovered elsewhere and examine it to make sure it’s indeed what they thought it was. Then they check the price tag, whip out their smartphone and run a quick search on the product to compare prices in a flash. If your prices aren’t competitive, you can count on that customer leaving empty-handed.
While this is certainly a negative experience for the retailer, the lack of any valuable customer experience strategy aimed at satisfying that customer’s desire for interactive information makes such an outcome predictable. The value of showrooming comes in the form of opportunity.
Much like a flood is an unavoidable force of nature, showrooming is an unavoidable consequence of the increasingly informed customer. Those who innovate to build the best boats are the best equipped to ride it out. Similarly, those who creatively circumvent the negative aspects of showrooming will enjoy a new level of customer engagement.
To kick off a series of new ideas about the future of retail in an increasingly digitized 21st century, I’d like to begin with a look into the shifting role of physical retail. Although we don’t have a crystal ball to show us exactly what in-store shopping will look like years from now, we’re beginning to see a number of innovative ideas emerge within the retail world that look much different from what we traditionally think of as a “store.”
As companies continue to integrate and embrace the customer experience benefits of the omnichannel shopping environment, the stage is set for new ideas to take shape and find new ways to succeed.
There’s no doubt technology has been pushing the retail industry to adapt for years now. We’ve been covering the current technology-driven trends in mobile, ecommerce and customer service otherwise known as the omnichannel environment as well as practical customer experience approaches such as mystery shopping and customer intercept surveys. Now we’re asking the question: How do the two sides relate?
At first glance, it might seem like the tried-and-true customer experience evaluation methods such as mystery shopping are simply not enough to accurately assess such a technologically complex environment. With many customers walking into the store already having researched exactly what they’re looking for, the expectations of the customer have expanded to the point where in-store staff must reorient their roles to fit these expectations accordingly.
This week we’d like to delve further into the idea of insight-driven customer engagement strategies otherwise known as clienteling.
If you missed our first blog post on the subject, the concept basically boils down to a system by which customers are compelled to return to your store as a result of exceptional in-store experiences. What is less apparent to the customer is the fact that such experiences don’t simply appear out of thin air—they’re very much the end result of a measured and fine-tuned process.
This process however is not a one-size-fits-all series of steps. It’s a fluid system tied to customer expectations. As we’ve explained before, providing quality customer experience is becoming more and more a task requiring investment in omnichannel integration and development. As customers continue to become self-taught experts about the products they seek, retailers must increasingly rely on a stable and accessible network of channels that their customers can use to interact with the brand in a convenient way.
When this kind of multilayered customer experience strategy combines with traditional clienteling, “social clienteling” is born.