Customer experience can either be something that happens naturally or something that a business owner specifically cultivates to attract and retain customers. By taking an analytical, systematic approach to customer experience, retailers can gain significant advantages over their competitors.
How is customer experience measured?
As a concept, customer experience is simple to understand, yet difficult to measure. Veteran retailers have an innate grasp of what makes an in-store experience enjoyable for shoppers. But what about digital experiences? As the retail industry evolves, stakeholders need to look for new ways to improve experiences.
According to a report from McKinsey & Company, a reliable customer experience measurement consists of several quantifiable metrics, such as:
- Customer opinion of store brand.
- Average wait times.
- Average number of returns.
- Spend per customer.
- Average time in store / on site.
- Average time to resolve a problem.
Not all of these metrics will apply to every retail business, but they can serve as a model for the development of metrics unique to your company. Whichever metrics you choose, you must track them over time to get a better understanding of where improvements would make the most financial impact.
How to improve the retail customer experience
Once you've established metrics and tracked them over time, you can begin to make real changes throughout your store. For example, if you find that customer experience is suffering from long wait times at the register, you could find a way to lower the average wait. By hiring another cashier or equipping your current staff members with portable card readers, you could speed up wait times and improve the shopping experience for your customers.
Businesses that have an online component can use the data from their website to craft more personalized shopping experiences. The more personalization you can offer, the better. In fact, a 2017 Salesforce report found that 58 percent of retail shoppers value personalized experiences in-store. By combining the digital with the physical, retailers gain the ability to provide a consistent and excellent customer experience every time shoppers interact with the brand.
Another important reason why customer experience is so important is that it has the ability to increase customer advocacy. According to Trustpilot, modern consumers want to verify their purchases by asking others about the product or service in question. A good customer experience means shoppers are more likely to write good reviews and voice positive opinions when asked.
This advantage is invaluable in a world where consumers are less likely to trust advertisements. According to ClickZ, 84 percent of millennials say they don't like traditional advertising and would rather interact with brands in more authentic ways.
To see why customer experience is so important for retailers to monitor, check out our infographic below:
Crafting personalized and optimized customer experiences takes hard work and dedication. For more tips and tricks on how to improve your retail brand and attract new customers, visit our resource center today.