The “Golden Rule” is the rule to follow today to fully understand your customer and address his needs. Because today’s customer has such ready access to online content, his loyalty and patronage are bound to falter a bit. Back in earlier times, a customer experience improvement programme enabled a customer to sound out – making it possible for him to be heard at least by the salespeople who sought to gain and keep his business.
How Customer Data Is Managed
In turn, the analyst made use of computer data to support enhancements in the customer service field and to drive improvements. Whilst the analyst could have taken the data and disburse the info across consumer touch-points, the information was controlled and monitored instead, all which failed to provide management with an idea of a customer’s likes and dislikes.
Reviewing What People Are Saying
With the passing of time, IT executives found better ways to raise the bar for serving customers and addressing their needs. The insight that followed was garnered from advanced technologies – methods that seemed almost unrecognizable from the tools that were used during earlier times. Today, technological advances concerning automation analytics and social media developments make it possible for managers to “listen in” while consumers “like” products or “tweet” about retail experiences.
Learning to be a Good Listener
In fact, today, a new job exists that was not featured as a regular job listing as little as five years ago. According to an Article: published in Forbes, a Chief Listening Officer is a job role in the marketplace that is a step up from the role of “Social Media Manager.” The CLO of a company keeps track of what people are saying in the social media channels and online. Before the advent of social media, business communications operated on a one-way highway. Now, managers are involved in listening, not just to the customer but to his interactions with his peers and friends.
“Listening” to Customer Comments
One CLO, who has since relinquished her spot, was reported to have listened in or monitored over 300,000 mentions on one brand product and company on the main social media channels of Facebook and Twitter. She also listened to comments made on YouTube and a variety of Internet blogs.
As social media continues to exert its influence in the business marketplace, the experience of the customer will also play a dominant role in how marketing is integrated and products are sold or displayed. Today, the successful experience of a customer requires more than merely the extraction of customer data. It necessitates the use of varied and integrated parts – methodologies that clue managers in on customer preferences.
Today, the success of any implemented programme that focuses on the customer experience places emphasis on what is being implemented technically and how that activity is related to what the manager wishes to achieve. When executives design such a programme, they should be able to show a direct correlation between the activities and outcomes concerning the programme and the data that is used for the purpose of customer intelligence.
Using CI to Enhance the Customer Service Experience
Customer intelligence then is applied in computer programmes that are written for enhancing the customer service experience. The beginning of the journey begins by including well-defined brand attributes in the advertising of your business. In the mobile telephone industry, marketing researchers know that a clear difference exists in the method a customer relates to a store and its brand.
This difference is dependent on the age, usage patterns, the item or items purchased and the location. For example, the behaviours and needs of customers who are considered to be pay-as-you-go clientele are vastly different than dealing with customers who pay contractually. Because of these distinctions, it is not wise to harmonise a CE programme without any clarification of these differences across your customer base.
The Difference between “Big Box” Shoppers and Convenience Store Clientele
For example, in a recent study in the supermarket sector, significant differences were underscored between regular supermarket customers and clients who chose to patronise convenience markets instead. For example, among convenience store users, the ability to locate and buy the goods they wanted was the primary driver behind their buying behaviour. In this particular context, the customer’s time was considered to be extremely valuable and his shopping was contained to only buying specific goods.
Review the Retail Field and its Sub-categories as Well
Given this data, the odds are fairly well stacked against the retail operator in delivering a customer service experience that “wows” the customer. This particular customer only wants to make a purchase in the evening before he departs for home. Therefore, it is important for managers make a distinction as to the customer preferences in various channels of the same industry.
The Facilitation of Payment: How it Plays into the Customer and Retailer’s Experience
Another part of the customer experience programme is the way payment is facilitated at the register. Because of the technology, managers want to find out what specifically works and does not work along these lines. Even though technology does continue to influence the customer experience, retailers still remain guarded about investing in new technologies. In fact, about 55 percent of retailers have yet to pay for new payment technologies. Retailers want to wait until consumers have a larger option of payment alternatives.
In addition, new payment technologies stand out like lightning rods to fraudsters who wish to exploit any openings with respect to security. While there is always that group of managers who adapt well to changing technologies, there is always that group as well that prefers to take a “wait-and-see” type of approach.
However, the basis for the decision should be made by listening to your customers. What are they saying about various technologies and payment options? Managers need to understand that listening to the customer today and viewing their preferences is what enables them to increase their ROI and meet their marketing and sales requirements and needs.