Hololenses. Pop up stores. Magic mirrors. Are retailers keeping up with the latest tech trends? Are they adopting the right tools in order to capture a lift in sales and shape their customers· buying experience? How will they get customers to walk out the store saying wow that was unbelievable! I hove to buy something! In today’s busy retail market, customers today have access to more information, available at their fingertips 24 hours a day, than ever before, Successful retailers have achieved customer loyalty and an ever-lasting relationship with their brand.But how? Here are 5 ways successful retailers build a customer-intimate experience: staying ahead of the game.
1. Empower your customers
Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of the show Shark Tank, once said: “Treat your customers like they own you, because they do.” That quote perhaps best captures the essence of the customer revolution. Empowerment is a guaranteed investment, when you empower your best customers to make decisions quickly the results will be amazing: increased user adoption, enhanced customer loyalty, increased sales. decreased attrition, and word-of-mouth advertising that is less expensive and more credible than anything you could buy. Successful companies approach the empowered customer with a willingness to listen and be taught.
PepsiCo launched its first ‘DEWmocracy’ campaign with an online role-playing game that let fans design a new Mountain Dew flavour, taste, color and logo. The flavour “voltage” and was one of the most successful product launches in PepsiCo beverage history. Mountain Dew’s fellowship had grown by more than 500% with 8 million followers. Empowering customers to always rate solutions, whilst also monitoring social channel comments, is critical to optimizing the service experience.
2. Effective omni-channelling
The world today is driven by technology, which is always changing with limited duration. The retail industry is on the verge of a fundamental transformation driven by digital technologies. As retailers adapt to the digital age, the line between physical and digital commerce is becoming increasingly blurred. Today consumers demand custom experiences as part of their everyday lives, and seamlessly blending technology, lifestyle and service to meet consumer demands is a critical strategy for successful retailers.
Offering a differentiated omni—channel engaging experience is important in attracting and retaining engaged customers. According to a survey from the Harvard Business Review, shoppers who engage with retailers across multiple touchpoints are driving boosts in conversion rates, both online and offline, as they become increasingly reliant on more than one channel to aid in their purchasing decisions. Retailers using this technique align their messaging, goals, objectives, and design across each channel and device, the possibilities of omni—channelling in pursuit of retail goals are endless. More retailers are catching up, with Barnes and Noble opening full service restaurants in their stores, and with Toys R Us creating interactive ploy areas for parents and kids, but this change did not only affect brick and mortar stores; even online giants like Amazon are experimenting with physical locations in order to accommodate their customers in a multitude of ways.
3. Speak the language of your customers
Speaking the language of your customers will undeniably accelerate your sales and make your brand more engaging. It’s that simple. Cut out the fancy words. Stop trying to develop creative ways to describe your value proposition. Just describe what your company is, what it does, and who it serves simply, concisely, and in your customers’ language. Nothing will accelerate your brand more than speaking with clarity. Starbucks is a world renowned brand with a language unto itself, and over the course of thirty years they have trained consumers to understand a whole new language. Developing a new language for your brand might sound like an exciting opportunity to differentiate your company. But the downsides of using unique ways to describe your products and services are incredibly high, when a customer doesn’t understand, they don’t buy. And it takes a long time to educate your clients on a new language.
This is where the Whole Brain Model@ works best for successful retailers, they understand their customers’ preferences, and they understand that these preferences will influence their emotions as well as the unconscious choices customers make during the process. The quality of sales and results increase significantly, both financially and measured on relations, when sales people become more attuned to personal preferences — and are able to adapt this knowledge to their choice of retail strategy.
4. Listen to feedback loops
Winning over customers have been the easy part, getting them to come back for more and inspiring them to keep returning often takes new techniques. If you really want to retain your customers as well as grow your business, then pay attention to what customers say. Brands such as Uber, Amazon, Tesla, Netflix, are disruptive and innovative because they’re fanatical about customer engagement providing experience that customers don’t expect. The reason is to get repeat business from the same people, and acquire new customers at a lower cost. It is essential to constantly monitor feedback and consistently track key performance indicators regarding satisfaction, loyalty, attrition and ease of use.
Best—in—class companies are continually recrafting their offerings to stay one step ahead of their customer’s changing needs. The quality of customer service consumers experience can significantly impact a retailer’s bottom line. In fact, 66% of consumers are willing to spend more money with a company that provides them with excellent customer service, according to Microsoft, while 60% of consumers say they have not completed an intended purchase due to a poor customer service experience! 67% of the core survey population said fun experiences are more important than owning things. 61% said they will pay premium for experiences they feel are worth it. There’s always a beacon of where to go – your customers. Listen to your customers! They’ll teach you how to speak their language.
5. Consistency & Simplicity
Successful Retailers keep things Simple!
In an effort to enhance Customer Loyalty, Retailers identify their most frequent and loyal customers and offer them the necessary customer service level and special offers. By demonstrating how much they value their business, retailers ensure that their loyal customers will return.
Retailers still employee traditional and simple media in order to connect with their customers and build brand loyalty. Regular Post Mail is still whitely used in the customer communication efforts. Email can be blocked as spam, while receiving an envelope in the regular mail help built trust and a dipper connection with the brand.
TOMS inspires their customers to purchase their shoes by turning its customers into heroes. For every product purchased, TOMS will help a person in need. But no article about customer loyalty would be complete without mentioning the Coca-Cola Company
Over the last forty years, Coca-Cola managed to form a special connection between the brand and its customers. In 1905, the first advertising slogan, was “Coca Cola Revives and Sustains.” In 1971, the iconic ad used the slogan “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke.” During the height of the Cold War, Coca-Cola featured in its ads teens from different ethnicities to sing about harmony. Finally, in 2014, Coke installed five special phone booths in the Dubai lobar comps that accepted Coca-Cola bottle caps instead of coins. In exchange for the caps, migrant workers could make a 3 minute international call. The “Hello Happiness,” video on YouTube received more than 2 million views! Sometimes there is no secret recipe. Customers like simplicity, they like to be valued. It is that simple.
Customer digitimacy is not about transactions it is about transformation.
Retailers need to change the way they think about their customer journey. They need to first really understand their customers, what’s on their mind and then design a new customer experience. After understanding their customer needs, retailers can then decide the combination of product design, customer service and technology they need.
The new way of selling products to customers is actually NOT selling them products! By keeping aside for a moment the transactional part of product selling, retailers can discover a new world of innovation than can enhance their customer experience that can help build the desired Customer Intimacy.