Phy-gital Roundtable: Breakfast Roundup from Germany and Netherlands

02 May '15 | Debjyoti Paul

German Shoppers: Meet Them in the Fast Lane to Phy-gital

15 January '15 | Ralf Reich

Shoppers Will Share Personal Information (But They Don’t Want to be “Friends”)

15 January '15 | Anil Venkat

Modernize or Perish: Property and Casualty Insurers and IT Solutions

14 January '15 | Manesh Rajendran

Benelux Reaches the Phy-gital Tipping Point: Omnichannel Readiness is Crucial

13 January '15 | Anil Gandharve

The New Omnichannel Dynamic: Finding Core Principles Across Industries

13 January '15 | Debjyoti Paul

Technology does not disrupt business – CIO day 2014 Roundup

02 December '14 | Anshuman Singh

Apple Pay – The Best Is Yet To Come

02 December '14 | Indy Sawhney

Digital transformation is a business transformation enabled by technology

01 December '14 | Amit Varma

3 Stages of FATCA Testing and Quality Assurance

06 October '14 | Raman Suprajarama

3 Reasons why Apple Pay could dominate the payments space

18 September '14 | Gaurav Johri

Beacon of Hope: Serving Growth and Customer Satisfaction

05 August '14 | Debjyoti Paul

The Dos and Don’ts of Emerging Technologies Like iBeacon

30 July '14 | Debjyoti Paul

What You Sold Us On – eCommerce Award Finalist Selections

17 July '14 | Anshuman Singh

3 Steps to Getting Started with Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

04 June '14 | Koushik Ramani

8 Steps to Building a Successful Self Service Portal

03 June '14 | Giridhar LV

Innovation outsourced – a myth or a mirage or a truth staring at us?

13 January '14 | Ramesh Hosahalli

What does a mobile user want?

03 January '14 | Gopikrishna Aravindan

The Modern Retail Customer, Part 2 – Owning and optimizing the buyer experience

Posted on: 21 July '15

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” [Source]
-Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon

Now that you’ve embraced predictive data and have begun personalizing the shopping experience (see The Modern Retail Customer, Part 1), you have your customer’s attention. This is essential in today’s competitive retail environment, where rapid technological advancement has shifted the balance of power into the consumer’s hands. As a result, retailers must move forward from traditional methodologies, instead taking an approach that aims to be more relevant and increase customer intimacy.

That’s no easy task, though. How do you keep your customer’s attention once you have it, optimize their experience, and provide outstanding service across all channels? Start by following four tips for creating an extraordinary buyer experience.

• Hyperconvenience is a must.

If customers encounter anything other than the path of least resistance, they may take their business to a retailer with a more streamlined process. Digital technologies enable retailers to provide seamless models for order, delivery and pickup, including click-and-collect (ordering merchandise online, then picking it up at the store or another location), self-checkout and ordering with an app. Amazon, for example, provides code-secured lockers where customers can pick up items at a convenient time, and British supermarket chain Tesco offers a collect-from location (e.g., a Tesco van parked in the town center).

After a purchase has been made, returns should be as convenient as possible. Customers should be able to return merchandise to any brick-and-mortar location, regardless of whether they bought online or at a store. Small gestures, such as including a pre-printed return label with online purchases, go a long way toward simplifying the customer experience. It’s essential to reduce the time and energy customers need to spend to contact the retailer.

• Consistency is key.

Shoppers commonly switch between channels to find the best deal before committing to a purchase. A shopper might compare prices online, check out an item at the store, talk about it on social media, read reviews and finally make a purchase through an app-so it’s very important to deliver a consistent experience across channels, including in pricing, promotions, product information, real-time stock availability and delivery information. For example, if a customer abandons a product in an online cart, that detail should be made available to a customer service agent. Then, if the customer calls to inquire about an order, the agent can prompt the customer to purchase that product or offer a coupon for it.

• Buyer personas are as relevant as ever.

To help shape a particular customer experience, retailers can create personas that represent large segments of customers with similar attributes. Personas provide a foundation for businesses to initiate personalized experiences without relying only on customer-provided information.

Personas can be refined further by considering the customer’s interactions, purchase history, online or in-store browsing behavior, and complaints or compliments in call center interactions. Ideally, retailers should leverage every channel interaction to build and refine a customer profile, creating a unified platform that delivers actionable insights about the customer and drives targeted marketing campaigns.

A major global dairy company leveraged Mindtree expertise to build a 360-degree, integrated view of its customer base across products and channels. Mindtree recommended right-marketing initiatives for a consistent consumer experience, which helped reduce churn by 5%.

In another instance, Mindtree worked with the world’s second-largest car rental company to gain insights that helped it win back dormant customers-and devise marketing campaigns that led to an 800% uplift in ROI.

• Customer resolutions are seamless.

The final element of customer experience optimization: ensuring a fast, smooth resolution process by leveraging predictive analytics. Retailers should practice first contact resolution-meaning they aim to address a customer’s needs properly the first time they call, so no follow-up is necessary. That’s more likely to happen if customer service agents know and understand the context of the customer’s call proactively. For example, an agent should be able to track a missed delivery with just a name and a postcode, instead of needing to ask for the order number or date. Retailers should also know enough about a customer’s preferences to offer a relevant substitute if a product ordered online is unavailable.

No doubt you’re already working hard to optimize the customer experience and treat customers like invited guests. So what’s the next step? Stay tuned for The Modern Retail Customer, Part 3, to learn about the future of customer service.

To find out more about how to improve the customer experience with digital initiatives, download the Mindtree e-book Are You Living in a Digital Fairy Tale? Make Digital Real.

Bappaditya Banerjee

Bappaditya Banerjee leads Retail Industry Solutions in Mindtree's Digital Business. He has led Omni-channel personalization, Loyalty, Digital Marketing and Consumer Experience programs for Tesco for over a decade. Bappaditya has a career spanning more than 15 years working with retailers across in US, Europe and APAC.