- Give a ride in your car to a complete stranger?
- Have a group of strangers over to your house for dinner?
- Let a complete stranger stay in your guest room?
- Give your house key to a stranger to let them walk your dog when you are not home?
Customer engagement is the relationship that exists between a customer and a brand, product or service. The exact definition of customer engagement (and the role of customer experience in creating or enhancing customer engagement) is the topic of much debate in the marketing community. However, no one disputes that engaged customers are increasingly beneficial to businesses.
And the power of engaging customer in-store is even stronger, delivering nearly immediate and direct bottom line benefits. There are five results of in-store customer engagement that create big wins for businesses:
It’s no secret that brand loyalty is an important factor in a company’s success. In fact, it’s likely that the top 20% of your customers generate about 80% of your company’s income.
If you weren’t sold on the importance of customer loyalty by that figure alone, would an unbridled increase in company profitability change your mind? Of course it would.
It’s well documented that most customers care more about the overall experience they have with your brand than any other factor in their purchase, including price.
Designing a memorable, compelling customer experience is tricky, but there’s a lot less risk involved when you have the right tools.
The right tools are ones that give you data that’s not only actionable, but that cuts to the heart of customer experience issues that affect profitability.
Adopting new technologies in an attempt to improve the shopping experience and increase efficiency is the oldest trick in the book (ever heard of an Automat?), and it doesn’t always succeed (ever been to an Automat?).
But it’s nearly impossible to make a business thrive without staying abreast of new technologies and making strategic choices about which technologies to adopt. When you do, innovative new technologies can improve your business in surprising ways.
You may be able to win a purchase with strategically placed ads and competitive prices, but these things alone are not enough to win a loyal customer.
Whoever first said “The customer is always right” couldn’t have anticipated the Internet, and how vital customer experience would ultimately become to the success of a retail chain.
Regardless of who actually said it first, you’ll probably recognize one of the men who popularized the sentiment – Harry Gordon Selfridge.
As we’ve said before, it’s time for companies to stop thinking about retail and ecommerce as separate categories. It was even #2 on our list of the 21 Most Controversial Things We Said in 2014.
But it won’t be controversial for long. My bet is that by the end of the year, every retailer will be scrambling to merge the two, likely by retraining associates (both in-store and support center) in “Buy Online Pickup in Store” (BOPIS) policies.
Returns are bad.
They’re often the result (or cause!) of a negative customer experience, they’re logistical nightmares, and they’re costly for physical and ecommerce stores alike.
Retailers have no choice but to accept them, and stricter return policies have historically driven customers away. So what can you do?
We’re not all Oscar-winning actors. Not everyone can read directly from a script and sound natural, your sales associates included. They have to sell the performance to sell your wares – if it’s a performance.
That’s the key to suggestive selling scripts: when they’re easy-to-follow guidelines, they work. When they’re stiff, forced scenes your employees have to act out, they don’t.
We’ve written scores of blog posts this year about customer experience and retail performance – hardly topics that most people think of as controversial.
But in any field, there are ideas that can make waves, and those are usually the ones to pay attention to. That’s why we compiled a list of the 21 most controversial things we’ve said this year, and made it into a SlideShare deck.
How much do you really know about your customers? Are they loyal to your brand, or are they regularly "cheating" with your competitors? The only way to find out is to ask.
That’s why we polled our panel of more than 55,000 everyday shoppers about their shopping behaviors and preferences in women's apparel stores, electronics retailers, casual and fast food restaurant chains, and home and office retailers to create this in-depth Restaurant and Retail Market Research Report.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could saunter into one of your stores undercover and have the same shopping experience your customers do?
You could see how helpful your associates really are, find out how you’re losing customers, and experience – firsthand – where you’re falling down on the job. But even if you do visit your stores anonymously, you’re only one person; you won’t be able to recreate the range of experiences your customers have.
Topics: Mystery Shopping
Recently, most advice about improving retail brand strategy has centered on expanding – more channels, more engagement, more programs, more rewards.
But before you try to make your company a “Jack of all trades,” remember that the second part of that phrase is “master of none.” Even for the largest chain, more isn’t always better – and that’s especially true of social media.