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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : February 08, 2017

Report: Retail leading in customer experience

When it comes to the customer experience, retailers are in the lead. That's the word from new West Interactive Services Data which found that retail ranked first in 'convenient' customer experience.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What most surprised you about these results?

Greg Ablett, Senior VP, West Interactive Services: We were somewhat surprised by some of the differences between what consumers say they prefer and what their behavioral patterns show us. For example, survey results indicated that fewer than half of customers prefer to receive alerts via text message; however, data points to strong adoption and high business- and user-satisfaction with this channel across many industries. Likewise, respondents indicated a preference for talking to live customer service reps on the phone, but the ability to easily, quickly self-serve via automated channels is proven to provide better speed to resolution, convenience and transparency.

Kristina: What should retailers and other brands take away from this report?

Greg: Findings like this really illustrate how human consumers are - often unable to put their fingers on exactly what they might need in a given instance, yet no less eager for choice, convenience and control. In most cases, brands fail to understand the emotions and the associative meanings behind these events, and just offer "more" rather than the "right" channel as a hope to affect a better experience; in other words, lacking strategy and purpose that comes with understanding the experience from the customers' view first. That's why omnichannel customer engagement strategies have become such a hot topic. But "more channels" and "more options" typically aren't the miracle solution for most brands.

Kristina: Is this an indicator that merchants need a better understanding of what their customer's want?

Greg: We believe this research emphasizes need for expert analysis of one's own CX (as their own customers, without bias) first. Looking at all of the internal and external elements uniquely impacting your customers' experience, including organizational structure and business processes, voice of the customer, communication infrastructure, hard-and-fast data and everything in between, is the only way to truly understand the customers' intent, end-to-end journey, points of friction and opportunities for delight. From there, brands can create a connected experience, predict engagement and, ultimately, prescribe an even better CX than customers expect.

Tags: customer experience, CX trends, ecommerce, ecommerce trends, West Interactive Services

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