Customers possess unpredictable changes with respect to their preferences, and retailers should address this changing customer fondness towards brands.
FREMONT, CA: One of the most interesting factors that drive the retailers to come up with fascinating ideas is the changing minds of the customers. Unsurprisingly, there is not a single best solution to deal with all the customers as they come with his or her own buying traits, and retailers should understand these distinctions and tailor their approaches accordingly. Despite the differences, they share a common characteristic, which is dissatisfaction. According to a study, 82 percent of consumers have been disappointed by brand experience. Sometimes the product quality may be excellent at affordable cost, but a negative experience can be the reason for a brand’s undoing. While customers have unprecedented power to affect the brand value, brands also possess the same, i.e., the power to provide customers an outstanding, thoughtful, and timely brand experience.
According to Retail CIOs, irrespective of the brand, customer experience (CX) is as essential to consumers as price and value to check if a brand is meeting their needs. Here are things that matter the most for the customers and should be embraced by retail CIOs to manage the customers buying behavior and provide an exclusive experience.
Presence on social media profoundly influences consumers as today’s consumers are online, mobile, and social. A recent study reveals that 88% of consumers have social media accounts of some sort, but only 23% trust shopping recommendations from these channels. Among them, 68% are millennials, who use social media channels to discover new brands at least once a month. A large percentage of consumers try to reach out to brands on social media, and they demand an immediate response to their complaints. If it is ignored, they will publicly shame a brand while switching to other competitors.
Retailers should keep in mind that four hours is the maximum that people will wait for the response and therefore act accordingly to protect their brand values and retain the customers. Not all customers prefer similar methods employed by retailers to promote their products. So the retailers must also engage the current generation and upcoming ones using storytelling, authenticity, and visuals. Millennials appreciate being engaged with the brands anywhere and anytime about their concerns and experiences. A brand’s availability 24/7 is significantly more important for millennials as they utilize the social platforms highly and to form an always-on, connected millennial consumer.
Even though technology plays a more significant role, successive retailers understand that the sole reliance on technology is insufficient to establish a loyal relationship and ensure that customers feel supported. And while technology will get any brand far, most people demand human support.
Almost 60% of all those surveyed want to be able to reach a human, regardless of the channel they’re navigating. In simple words, when customers need help, they won’t hesitate to reach out via the brand website or phone number. Therefore a company should make sure that there’s a real person on the other side of a support email address or phone number as 35% of consumers will dial to ask for help.
In customer service interactions, retailers should be careful with baby boomers, where 51% of them will go straight to the company and ask for a manager as they find calling customer service to be an arduous task. Brands must utilize “scenography” that will create a sensory connection and elicit an emotion consistently through each channel. Thus, inspiring consumers or attaining their goals will instill a deeper emotional response.
Today, being in retail business means being in the data business. If the retailers cannot effectively harness the power of technology to engage consumers, customer experience will fall short. To accomplish this, retailers need data scientists with advanced analytical skills to carry out analyses to better understand customers and predict trends. Person-to-person interaction is preferred as it helps to reveal the strength of most consumer experiences. 88% of consumers trust shopping recommendations from people they know. 79% of Gen Z consumers are more likely to share with their friends and cohorts about impressive brand experiences.
In some cases, consumers rely on anonymous reviews online primarily because they believe in the humanity behind them. Meanwhile, 52% are skeptical of digitally generated recommendations (from bots to popups) that are generated through algorithms or other digital processes. So while there is the talk of AI diminishing the value of humans’ work, there’s no demand for machines to be consumers’ main touchpoints.
Brands should understand that reputation or legacy will no longer sustain loyalty. A different approach will undoubtedly work well where retailers create an impression on a consumer in the moment or within 24 hours of interaction. To capitalize on this service trend, brands must master the ability to deliver anticipatory service by using their current and past behavior to accurately and quickly anticipate their future behavior.