We can all agree that customer experience matters more than ever. The changing retail world, both in-store and online, means it’s increasingly complex to find out how your customers behave and feel as they interact with your company. And the impact on customer experience quality is being felt.
The Temkin Group’s 2016 Customer Experience Rating study reported that the percentage of companies scoring ‘good’ and ‘excellent’ dropped from 37% in 2015 to just 18% in 2016 .
However, you can optimize the customer experience. One of the best ways to do this in the retail industry is through content personalization, as we’ll explain.
Discover What The Customer Needs
First, a recap. The marketing phrase ‘customer experience’ is so widespread that it crops up as often as superhero movies at the multiplex. However, it’s worth reminding ourselves how it differs from user experience. In the words of email marketer Brent Sleeper, “Customer experience (CX) is concerned with the overall interaction between a business and a customer over the span of their relationship. It is a high-level, strategic view of the quality of a customer’s encounters with all touch points: products, services and brand.”
This points at a collaborative approach that goes beyond your marketing department. Writing in Forbes, Denise Lee Yohn explained that “today's retail environment requires a more agile, flexible, and integrated approach... Different departments must share data, develop new processes, and collaborate on product design and delivery.”
More Than Just ‘Touch Points’
A key part of making CX better is to look between touch points. Identifying and understanding the whole ‘customer journey’ is vital for retail success, and journey mapping should be high on your agenda. ‘Journey’ in this context is one of those buzzwords that pops up extensively, from the marketing realm to TV talent contests, so it’s worth clarifying its meaning here:
“A customer journey is a collection of actions, moments, and touch points that a customer experiences while trying to fulfil a goal or a purpose,” said Kim Harris Busdieker, writing for the American Marketing Association. “Until we understand a customer’s full journey and how they fulfil their needs along the way, we aren’t delivering a meaningful experience to them.”
Optimization Through Personalization
Like search engine optimization, we should also consider customer journey optimization. As with SEO, its success lies with your content; in particular, content personalization.
Social and other marketing content can be personalized to an individual customer. Digital platforms such as Knexus make this task easier, as well as helping to improve conversion and increase repeat purchases.
Such software tools enable you to connect and manage data throughout the customer journey. This move towards using what’s called ‘customer journey analytics’ grew from customer relationship management, and you can get competitive advantages from the intelligence it provides.
As online marketer Steven MacDonald summarized on the SuperOffice blog, “Customer experience is an area that needs constant nurturing and care and with a greater focus on customer experience strategy, companies will realize a positive impact on customer loyalty, higher retention and increased revenues.”
Personalization helps retailers large or small to grow sales by increasing engagement with customers and making their experience better.