Customer experience is a top priority

BY Australian Retailers Association
15 August 2019

Why an investment in your staff is an investment in your bottom line.

In a world where consumers can research products online before ever stepping foot into a store, staff are expected to not only deliver exceptional service but also a wealth of knowledge a consumer couldn’t get anywhere else. We look at why an investment in your staff is an investment worth making.

In today’s world, it’s a simple fact that consumers have more choice than ever. With a never-ending array of products available at their fingertips, why do so many consumers still choose to make purchases in bricks-and-mortar stores? A staggering 81% of customers rate experience as the key reason. ‘Good’ is no longer good enough, retailers must strive for excellence to meet the expectations of the modern customer.

Recent years have seen the rise of ‘retailtainment’, an imaginative re-thinking of the in-store experience, blending retail and entertainment for an innovative and engaging experience. Think of Nike’s 5-story flagship store in New York which invites customers to trial products in their onsite basketball courts, treadmills and football pitch. In an environment where 51% of consumers will never do business with a company again after a single negative experience, retailers have to ensure they are providing the ultimate customer experience in every store, every day.

While online merchants have long enjoyed the luxury of being able to analyse each point of their customer journey to microscopic levels of detail, until recently the in-store experience had been left to languish, neglected from a measurement perspective. At TruRating, we’ve discovered when you provide retailers with the ability to collect validated customer data, en masse, at speed in real-time, at the point-of-sale, staff quite literally become empowered.

In 2018 a store manager for a major grocery retailer, blew us away with the speed of results achieved from just one month of using their in-store customer data. The ability to identify hotspots of poor service performance meant the manager could make informed roster changes, and within a month the store’s customer service improved, resulting in thousands of dollars in weekly revenue back on the table.

A major sports retailer trained its staff to offer multiple product choices to customers when they were in-store and considering a product purchase. The rationale behind this approach was with the point-of-sale customer data the retailer could quantify the monetary value it yielded. Their data showed customers who were offered several options spent 32% more than those customers who are not offered multiple options. Across a period of six weeks the retailer launched a new sales training program and communicated statistics to staff during in order to encourage them to adopt this strategy. Post training the results were exceptional, even the poorest performing stores in the network were reporting an increase in weekly revenue due to ATV increases associated with the new sales approach and an added benefit overall customer satisfaction increased.

TruRating internal data also uncovered that customers who are impressed spend 13% more; while those who have a sub-par experience spend 29% less. In short, happier customers spend more, and staff are integral to driving in-store sales. The interaction between staff and consumers is pivotal to success in bricks-and-mortar but it doesn’t come for free. Retailers need to invest in their staff, and all the evidence suggests that those brands who do are more likely to succeed.

Getting customer experience right is hard work. It’s a continuous effort, and in some cases can require a bold re-think of existing strategies. But it’s an investment with a clear pay off.

By taking the time to invest in staff, employers soon see the impact on customer experience and revenues. The ability to measure the impact of in-store initiatives in a fair and objective way is an integral part of this. By making it easier for staff to understand how they’re doing, employers are making it easier for them to deliver the experiences customers expect and deserve.

Dylan Berrington is Head of TruRating ANZ. TruRating is a tech company specialising in customer experience and analytics that offers a flexible, multi-channel solution for engaging with shoppers. For more information visit TruRating.com.Cu

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Australian Retailers Association

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

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