Three Ways to Crack the Customer Experience Code

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1 Three Ways to Crack the Customer Experience Code to Drive Higher Retail Sales and Increased Loyalty New Data Highlights the Growing Gap between Shoppers Expectations and Customer Service Experiences

2 The three words most consumers use to describe their very best shopping experiences are fast, convenient and personalized. But those experiences are few and far between. Think about your last shopping experience; what was it like? Slow service? Inexperienced retail associates? Long lines? Those are, by far, the three most common complaints. To keep customers coming, retailers need to do a better job of creating experiences that customers value, evolving with the customer, so that those experiences always match and exceed expectations. Customers will buy more when they re happy. Jamie Nordstrom, President Nordstrom Direct at his Keynote Address at the Shop.org Summit

3 Consumer expectations are climbing, and retailers are working hard to improve the shopping experience at every stage in the buying journey from getting people engaged and through store doors to the checkout lines and eventually, what they do after a purchase is made. But the very best way to understand which improvements will have the biggest impact on customer satisfaction, sales and long-term loyalty is to ask consumers what they truly value. So TimeTrade did, and here s what the findings suggest. 1 It s not only about price Share-of-wallet competition among retailers is intense, especially with extremely cost-conscious shoppers emerging from five years of troubling economic times. But even with the threat of showrooming on-the-rise it s clear that price matching and product exclusives aren t sustainable strategies anymore. TimeTrade surveyed more than 1,000 consumers to understand what they really want from retailers, and according to 92 percent, the top three areas for improvement have absolutely nothing to do with lower prices. 92 % of people say they want a more personalized customer experience, more helpful retail associates and faster customer service Retailers seem to already know this. More than 60 percent of retailers surveyed by TimeTrade at the 2013 Future Stores conference acknowledged that personalized customer service is the number-one thing missing from the shopping experience they provide today. But according to research from Motorola Solutions in 2012, 85 percent of retailers cannot customize in-store visits for consumers. Q: If you were a consumer looking to buy something from your company (in store or online), what s the #1 thing missing? 60 % A personalized customer experience 20 % Knowledgeable employees 10 % Better/faster service 10 % Other

4 Initial Consideration Set The consumer considers an initial set of brands, based on brand perceptions and exposure to recent touch points. 1 Trigger Loyalty Loop 2 Active Evaluation Information Gathering, Shopping Consumers add or subtract brands as they evaluate what they want. Postpurchase Experience Ongoing Exposure After purchasing a product or service, the consumer builds expectations based on experience to inform the next decision journey. 4 3 Moment of Purchase Ultimately, the consumer selects a brand at the moment of purchase. The Buying Cycle It s time retailers changed the way they think about getting personal. We re not talking about s that include a customer s first name or a single, positive interaction with a retail associate. A unique, customized experience requires understanding each individual consumer, making them feel valued, giving them undivided personal attention, and quickly connecting them with the very best resource to help them find what they need, when, where and how they need it. This level of customization needs to be carried through every stage of the buying journey from initial consideration, to active evaluation, moment of purchase and post-purchase experience. The problem today: Most retailers are trying to overcome each, individual threat whether it s showrooming, price matching, or ecommerce instead of staying focused on the greater goal of happier, more loyal customers. Achieving that goal starts with understanding your customers, engaging them regardless of where or when they re shopping, and connecting them with knowledgeable associates. The more retailers know about customers before they walk in the door the greater chance retailers have of providing a valuable, personalized and satisfied buying experience fast. Customer Experience Success Story: Sprint s ReadyNow Program By allowing customers to book personalized appointments before going to any Sprint retail location, shoppers are now in control of their own experience before they even get to the store. These appointments typically last three minutes longer than other customer interactions, and shoppers leave the store happier and more engaged. The customer experience is now faster and far more effective. Sprint has been ranked by J.D. Power with the highest Customer Satisfaction with Purchase Experience and has been named the #1 most improved customer satisfaction over the past five years across 47 industry over the past 12 months.

5 2 Redefine the role of in-store associates and retail organizational structures. According to a 2012 Accenture survey, 73 percent of consumers believe they know more than retail employees. That s a scary stat for retailers. Changing perception is never easy, but with 30 percent of consumers TimeTrade surveyed asking for smarter, more helpful retail employees, retailers need to figure it out. If that s not enough incentive, according to 80 percent of the retailers TimeTrade surveyed, sales increase by percent when shoppers are assisted by knowledgeable retail associates. But retailers don t have to choose between providing better customer service and running efficient operations. They can achieve both by redefining roles, understanding and assigning inside experts, restructuring the service organization and giving staffers the resources they need to do their jobs both efficiently and effectively. Q: When customers are assisted by employees either in-store or online what s the impact on sales? 0 % Sales decrease 15 % Sales do not increase 80 % Sales increase by 25% to 50% 5 % Sales increase by at least 75% 3 Give customers what they want in five minutes or less. More than 80 percent of consumers surveyed said they ll abandon an in-store purchase if they have to wait more than five minutes for service, whether that means they can t find what they want (29 percent), can t get answers to questions fast enough (22 percent) or check-out lines are too long (23 percent). Five minutes may sound unreasonable, but when you re waiting in line, it feels like forever. The new standard for service is quickly shrinking to 60 seconds or less. When consumers can t find what they want fast enough while in the store, 67% percent said they ll go online or use their mobile device for a more convenient, faster experience. A retailer s best defense against showrooming, price matching, or sheer impatience is to quickly connect consumers with the very best resource to help them find and buy exactly what they need. Knowledgeable employees at-the-ready are the biggest, untapped resource retailers can use to narrow the time-to-service gap, minimize the impact of showrooming, capture more revenue and build customer loyalty. As retailers start budgeting and planning for 2014, addressing pricing and showrooming will naturally top the list, but focusing on delivering what consumers really want personalization, and better, faster service while keeping costs and operations in check, is the best approach to happier customers, increased revenue and repeat business. Interested in learning about how TimeTrade s helping some of the world s most respected brands improve the customer experience at every stage in the buyer s journey? Check out this infographic on customer experience gaps, and how TimeTrade s addressing them. Wait & Flee 80 % of Shoppers surveyed won t wait more than 5 minutes for service Top reasons they leave: Can t find an item Lines too long Can t get an answer

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