How to turn insights into actions for better customer experiences
So maybe you've taken the right first step and started to plan how customer experience (CX) will play into sales and your overall business model. You know you should measure CX, but it can be tough to tell what data is most important. But the reality is, many of us are caught up in data collection, when actually the priority should be on what happens after you secure those coveted metrics.
I would argue that measuring the effectiveness of customer experience isn't just about reports and formulas - the effectiveness happens when you do something actionable that furthers the customer experience strategy. How do you turn insights into actions in real life? We have a few suggestions (hint, focus on your staff):
Ok, collect data - and then use it
In all types of sales organizations, prospect and customer interactions must, of course, be measured. You likely want to look at store traffic and average purchase value, individual employee sales, and sales per segment for indicators of performance.
But while you may possess the tools necessary to capture and record this type of information, it's much less common to have an actual organizational structure and tools to be able to visualize, follow up, and promote the customer experience continuously.
What investments have you made into the infrastructure of your company for supporting the execution of customer experience? Your on-the-floor sales team is the first line of offense when comes to encouraging better in-store experiences that lead to better revenue. Have you thought about not only collecting data, but how you use it to make changes and enable your staff?
Make online and offline execution seamless
Consider how this especially translates to online versus offline experiences. All the time, energy, and money spent on customer experience online is not reflected often enough at the store level and the physical meeting.
When offline experiences don't live up to online personas and brand image, it can be much more detrimental to future sales. There should be consistency across the board, and it's up to your sales staff to ensure this. But they need support, education, communication, coaching, and the right tools in order to do this effectively.
Recognize that sales isn't a straight line
Especially in the modern retail climate (not a "retail apocalypse") there is an increased complexity to sales: New needs, requirements, increased dynamics, and qualifiers in purchasing behavior require leaders to create the right support and conditions for sales employees to be agile, accommodating, and provide expertise.
In this way, we can no longer afford to be reactive. Customer support and experience is no longer an after-sales activity reserved for complaints and returns. It starts before and continues during and after a sale, and focuses on high engagement levels and value driving. With your sales team being the most crucial part of this process, they need to be equipped to not only push product, but act as service providers that can anticipate customer needs.
If you don't believe customer experience starts from inside your organization, you're doing it wrong
The most important lesson I take with me is that in retail, we don't all have the same conditions and challenges regarding customer experience, but we all want to improve and achieve better results. So whether it's increased engagement, better communication, hiring the "right" staff, coaching better, measuring data, creating nicer storefronts, having less friction with payment, more efficient floor area planning and so on, we have to make sure everyone on the entire team is in the same boat.
To ensure that your staff is able to execute great customer service, everyone has to have the same focus and the same goals. What this means is that leaders, employees, and all colleagues can clearly see where the organization is heading, and what it takes for customers to come back.
Why should customer experience matter to you?
If you yourself don't interact with customers on a regular basis, you might not care about their experiences as long as your company profit is good and growing. But here's the thing: customer experience is profitable. Enabling sales staff to provide better customer service, and better one-on-one interactions is an investment that pretty much never loses.
In a recent analysis published in Harvard Business Review, respondents said they would be willing to pay up to 14% more for common purchases if the company provides a great customer experience. Moreover, 17% of respondents said they would abandon a company or brand they love after just one bad experience.
If you think you're in the business of just selling products, you might need to think again. Today, every company is in the business of also selling experiences, which is why you need to not only have in place the tools and methodology for measuring it, but acting on it. Securing and promoting great customer experiences comes down to your staff who can promote consistency, flexibility, and the vision of the business. Equip your sales team with ways to evaluate their own performances, encourage development and more knowledgeable interactions, and create a cohesive company-wide expectation for creating better experiences.
At Goalplan we only focus on the people executing the day to day rumble to make your company and brand excel. That includes CX and how to best measure it, and most importantly, how data is used to communicate with decision makers.
Help transform data into actionable insights & translate the findings to managers and your first line ambassadors on the floor. What is the point of spending all this time and money on CX if you can’t get the people at the first line of contact buy into it and understand clearly where the boat is heading?
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