Perhaps they’re not visiting their own stores! Australia’s retailers overwhelming believe they are doing a great job on the customer experience front with only two per cent conceding they provide a poor experience according to a study by Frost and Sullivan.
According to the report which was commissioned by cloud based ERP specialist Netsuite, 89 per cent of respondents indicated that they currently offer an excellent or good customer experience but only two per cent feel they offer a poor experience.
The study’s authors suggested this judgement is largely based on perception rather than tangible measurement. While 85 per cent of medium and large retailers currently measure and monitor the quality of the customer experience, only 37 per cent of smaller retailers do, with many relying on unsolicited customer feedback, which is an unstructured and largely unreliable form of measurement.
The report also indicates that the majority of Australian retailers are adapting to changing market conditions by becoming multi-channel businesses, with almost 90 percent now operating a website (up from just over 50 per cent in 2013); over 80 per cent having a social media presence (up from 32 per cent in 2013); 61 per cent offering transactional capabilities on their website (up from 38 per cent in 2013); and 43 per cent having a mobile website or application (up from 28 per cent in 2013).
To gain a holistic approach to managing the customer experience the authors argue that an integrated strategy is required by retailers to combine all customer touchpoints within a single organisational structure and business system. “Achieving this is not always simple, particularly when retailers have existing legacy systems that support different business functions,” they say.
“The key to managing the customer experience is to have one database with a single and unique record for every customer, which can be accessed in real-time at all points of interaction,”said Mark Dougan, managing director for Australia and New Zealand at Frost & Sullivan. ”
The richer the data the better, as this enables tailored and relevant interactions with customers. This personalisation is increasingly critical to customer experience management, as consumers are responsive to offers and communications that are highly relevant to them, and very unresponsive to those that are not.”
The study, also indicated that the proliferation of retail channels has made customer experience management far more challenging, with retailers now required to deliver a consistently high and increasingly personalised customer experience across multiple channels – brick-and-mortar stores, online, mobile, call centres and social media.