Benazir Shaikh is User Experience Analyst at West Marine, the largest specialty retailer of boating supplies and accessories, with more than 260 stores located in 38 states and robust mail-order and online businesses that serve customers in over 150 countries. The company also has a strong commitment to delivering an excellent customer experience (CX), which includes collecting and measuring CX data.
We recently sat down with Benazir to discuss how West Marine is leveraging CX data to boost satisfaction among customers and gain an advantage over competitors.
For more about how West Marine is a best-in-class VOC Leader, watch our interview with Benazir via the video below.
Why is it important for West Marine to measure customer experience?
What will set retailers apart from competitors is outstanding customer experience – not price. People are willing to pay higher prices. And everyone can get the same or similar products manufactured from the same places but with different brand names. But what will set us apart is excellent customer experience. And to measure that, we need ForeSee.
And how does West Marine capture, measure, and improve CX?
We have three different ForeSee measures for capturing the voice of customer (VOC): store, mobile, and desktop. We analyze feedback data for each of those individual touchpoints to look for recurring themes, which we take back to our stake holders to align with business goals and discuss changes.
What are some big issues the retail industry faces that customer experience intelligence can help solve?
The great thing about customer experience intelligence is that we get live feedback about our customers’ expectations. [And customer] expectations are increasing because so many retailers are providing great customer service — people are getting used to it. So we need [CX Intelligence].
More specifically, why does West Marine use ForeSee and what advantages does it provide?
ForeSee has been great about giving us a numerical value that is [tied] to the improvements we are trying to make to our website and store front. Getting customer feedback every day is very important to us. ForeSee, the only real-time feedback tool we use, provides us with feedback data which we’ve connected to our Replay tool to watch sessions and[make changes immediately.
Can you discuss a time when ForeSee helped identify and solve problems?
West Marine has a higher concentration of stores in locations close to the water (Florida, California, etc.), and a larger number of customers browsing our website when shopping at these locations. Customers are looking for where a product is in their local store. We heard this a lot from ForeSee. Time after time people wanted “find in store” functionality, [which] we added last November.
Those who used the “find in store” functionality have much higher satisfaction scores, as measured by ForeSee, compared to those who have not used it. Early indications are that it is also having the desired effect of driving incremental store traffic. These positive changes are a result of listening and taking action on the data we gather using the ForeSee tool.
How do you prove the business impacts of your customer experience or VOC program to an executive audience at West Marine?
[Communicating CX insights to executives] is a bit of a challenge. What we have done at West Marine is segment our data by looking at different customer types (repeat customers and new customers) as well as the types of products they are searching the website for. We then tie that [segmented data] back to improvements [we’ve identified or implemented].