Customer Experience in 2017Steve Dudley
Here are some key factors we believe will shape Customer Experience in the UK in 2017…
Increasing ‘smart’ consumers
In an ever changing marketplace, retailers/service providers will need to consider the fact that their customers are better informed and more demanding than ever before.
To ensure growth and the maintenance of a competitive edge, retailers/service providers will need to better understand these savvy customer’s emotionally based buying journey, and have a team with the ability to not only identify the customers’ needs but consistently over achieve and deliver a great buying experience.
Millennials choose experiences over “stuff” …and expect great service
Beyond their cultural influence, millennials wield tremendous spending power that is expected to accelerate in 2017. A recent study by the Harris Group reveals that 72% of millennials prefer to spend their hard-earned cash on experiences rather than on material goods.
They also demand quality within a value for money proposition underpinned by a great buying experience. They are more likely to rely on peer reviews and recommendations and interact with the retailer across more than one channel. An attentive Customer Experience is key to earning their loyalty and stimulating a positive social response.
Companies will deep-dive into customer feedback
Delivering great Customer Experiences which will create loyalty to a brand is a deceptively complex concept.
When it comes to techniques for measuring it, one size does not fit all. There are various options and it will be a combination of these that tend to work best. Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a great tool but it must be used in conjunction with quantative feedback. As numbers can never allow you to truly understand what customers think or how they feel about your service or product. Thus, customer feedback is taking centre-stage in understanding customers and building relationships with them.
Omni-channel becomes mainstream
Omni-channel shopping will also become less of a marketing phrase used by those trying to explain the variables within a customer’s journey plan and more of a reality with the increasing use of smart phones, online chat advisors, wi-fi hotspots and in-store use of technology. Retailers/service providers that embrace this and understand the need to emotionally connect with their customers will thrive. And those that don’t will suffer.
The Customer Experience embraces five senses
The customer experience is all encompassing. A great Customer Experience today is about more than just the products and service you expect to find there—its look, feel, and increasingly now the aroma that are key brand markers. Proprietary scents are being created for specific brands and, beyond brick and mortar applications, will carry forward to the packaging of online purchases; so consumers recognise the brand before they even open the box.
Lighting, colour, scent, texture, sound, and taste are all becoming integral aspects of the competitive differentiator.
2017 promises to be an exciting year for Customer Experience as the business case for delivering a great Customer Experience is proven and organisation embrace it. To discuss any of the points raised in this article please call Steve Dudley on +44 (0) 7939 115 965, or get in touch via our online contact.