Do You Have Retail Experience?
CX. That’s how I now refer to “customer experience.” I’m giving in and using the accepted acronym now, partly because it has come to represent the major driver in retail marketing. Also, because it sounds cool.
To fully understand retail CX, let’s start with what it is not. Customer experience is not customer satisfaction. It is neither customer loyalty nor customer-centricity. And customer experience should never be confused with customer service.
(Customer service – the degree of assistance and courtesy granted those who patronize a business – is a critical part of the CX mix. But even the words themselves have come to represent that dark place a shopper must visit when her experience has gone wrong.)
Retail CX is generally defined as the entirety of the interactions a customer has with a company and its products. It comprises the full spectrum of the sales event, combining pre-store planning, en route, in-store, at checkout and post-purchase activities and interactions into a single, delightful shopper experience.
Providing an exceptional customer experience is the single most important strategic choice a retailer can make now and in the years ahead, according to a recent study, The Retailer’s Imperative: A Strategic Approach to Customer Experience.
Why is a quality CX so important? Because thoroughly enjoying an amazing, meaningful retail experience motivates a shopper, moving her from customer to brand evangelist. That shopper will then
- Recommend you to future customers
- Defend you when others attack
- Pay more for the same products
- Forgive you more quickly when things go wrong
- Give you honest feedback
- Generate a disproportionate amount of profit
- Look for ways to spend more with you
- Cost less to service
CX is more than just a good investment for the retail marketer. It is now a mandate.
Next time, a look at the elements of great in-store CX.