The last months of the year usually represent strong sales for the retail sector. From Black Friday to buying school supplies to Christmas, the period usually brings a series of challenges for the sector, which, faced with increasingly demanding consumers and accustomed to the convenience of the digital world, needs to pay special attention to its experience.
Years of experience help retailers know how to increase inventory, hire employees and strengthen their marketing campaigns, but one of the main challenges they will face in the future is to recreate in their stores the same experience their customers have in their storefronts. Customer inquiries are expected to increase – so providing a positive experience for each of these inquiries across multiple platforms will be crucial for brands looking to succeed this season.
It is worth reminding that, according to a PwC survey, 65% of all consumers believe that positive brand experiences in sales channels are more influential than good advertising. This is why many retailers are looking to digital tools to connect their digital and physical stores to create a seamless customer journey. Bestseller co-author Protagonist, professor of CX and director of CAMIX, Camila Santos, emphasizes that most of these efforts should be focused on retaining those customers.
“Philip Kotler once said that acquiring a new customer costs five to seven times more than retaining an existing one. This logic has been maintained even today, when experience is increasingly important in customer decision-making,” he says. Camila cites a Google study that, back in 2001, detected that the process of generating value for the customer begins long before the actual purchase, when he searches for product information, compares prices, looks for social proof and visits portals to check the credibility of the company. brand This is a phase called ZMOT (zero moment of truth), i.e. “zero moment of truth”.
“This moment is important for creating trust while providing adequate data, where, how and when the user needs it in an agile and transparent way”, he points out. And this can be done with simple actions for which Camila recommends the CX pyramid, which divides the brand relationship process into:
- Basis: Problem Solving
- Medium: Reduce effort
- Top: Emotional connection
The important point is to use these interactions to generate data that can produce insights that should further enrich the consumer experience in the future. Here it is important to collect data, compare and analyze it based on indicators such as NPS (Net Promoter Scores), which measures consumer loyalty; CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score), which measures user satisfaction in relation to the touch point; and CES (Customer Effort Score), which measures the effort that the customer has invested in a certain stage of the purchase.
“I believe that CSAT and CES should be a priority to verify whether clients have perceived the company’s efforts. Then, in addition to respecting the usage time required by NPS, it is important to confirm whether after a certain period the customer remained loyal or whether it was an isolated purchase with no long-term relationships,” he explains. The use of these metrics in this period will also be important to create a basis for comparison in the following months, allowing to measure the effectiveness of actions and make possible corrections.
Another important point in retail preparation is communication. Camila points out that this is a daily effort of the company and must be carried out throughout the year. “It’s an effort that includes building personas and VoC (Voice of the Customer) programs so that they have predictability of behavior and expectations, the ability to predict pain and response,” he says, reminding that all of this must be connected to technology.
It is precisely the use of the most adequate technological solutions that will enable the scaling of personalization through the high availability of strategic data and provide inputs for the continuous training of employees. For companies considering starting this process, the expert recommends several steps, such as:
- people – customers and employees are people, therefore the first step is to invest in training people;
- promise to buy – define your company’s purchase promise (quality, speed, price, etc.) and be transparent with your customers. Quality buyers may be willing to take a longer delivery period, for example;
- try out – the concept of MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is starting to give way to MLP (Minimum Loveable Project) – quickly test and find out if your initiative is more than viable, charming for the customer.
It is always good to emphasize that consumers today expect a personalized experience and that this creates unforgettable experiences. The fact is, managing customer expectations during the busiest time of the year can lay the foundation for future success, driving loyal relationships throughout the year.
If you want more specific tips on how to prepare for the next Black Friday, the next day October 27on 18 hours, Monica Betini, SAP Customer Experience Executive and Camila Santos participate in the event CX Live | How to provide the best experience on Black Friday? It will be streamed live on SAP’s Instagram channel. For live viewing or recordings, just log in @sap_brasil.
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