Retail stores are continuing to change: the physical locations that were once solely hubs of customer purchasing have been evolving into something more complex for some time. Today, buying something at a store is just one reason shoppers visit brick-and-mortar channels, and typically the store is only one stop in a bigger journey.
Adapting CX Strategies to the New Retail Reality
The modern retail store is many things, including a flexible fulfillment center that speeds product deliveries, creates a streamlined in-store pickup location, and a facilitator of easy online returns. Retailers are also using their locations to experiment with partnerships and create new in-store experiences that better align with how customers want to shop, not just buy.
All of this evolution creates new and more complex challenges for the staff, from the in-store manager or executive to the store associate working the register.
I’ve spent years working closely with many of our retail clients, and, as this evolution continues, one thing grows more important to them every year: the need for a consistent, omni-channel customer experience (CX) measurement framework. Understanding how experiences are meeting customer expectations is crucial. It’s also a proven game-changer, giving retail leaders the ability to leverage measurements and data to drive efficiencies, revenue, differentiation, and loyalty.
Prioritize, Predict, and Operationalize
Before they can think about measuring experiences, delivering insights, and establishing accountability, retailers must understand how CX works within the store channel. They do this by aligning KPIs into three categories, such as:
- Strategic: Average order value, Net Promoter Score (NPS), and customer satisfaction (CSAT)
- Operational: Associate engagement, store atmosphere, and merchandise
- Tactical: Customer greetings, assistance, recommendations, and seamless checkout
With that part of a Voice of Customer (VoC) strategy in place, retailers can begin the work of measuring and gathering data. It’s crucial to align the measuring program in a way that will drive field coaching and encourage the customer behaviors that tie back to the corporate initiatives and improvement priorities.
Within this framework, it’s pivotal for retailers to follow these three steps in order to operationalize data and maintain a comprehensive and closed-loop VoC system:
- Understand at an aggregate level where the business should prioritize improvement efforts from a 30,000-foot view.
- Have the predictive insight to know how those improvements would boost KPIs like the likelihood for customers to return, recommend, become brand loyal, etc.
- Deliver the right information to the district/regional leaders, store managers, and associates to maintain focus on KPIs and service standards.
For example, many of our retail clients identify four to five service standards to focus on within their store experience, such as were customers greeted, offered assistance, and given recommendations? We then help them capture information tied to how often these standards are met—and allow them to see the impact on average order value and customer satisfaction, as well as customers’ potential future behaviors. To close the loop, we can report this information to store associates or managers, and at the district and aggregate level.
In short, there’s a need to provide the right information, at the right level, in the right format, to drive the actions required to deliver best-in-class customer experiences and improve satisfaction.
Start Delivering on In-Store Customer Satisfaction
At Verint ForeSee, we help our retail clients establish omni-channel measurement programs that allow them to know where to focus their efforts across a complex journey, and where to prioritize their efforts at specific touchpoints within this journey. This includes the vital brick-and-mortar touchpoint, where we partner with retailers to identify the right strategic, tactical, and service standard insights, while utilizing a robust reporting and guidance platform in order to build a best in class in-store CX program.
Want to learn more? Find out how we can help your retail business understand and improve customer satisfaction—at store locations and across the entire journey.