As a world which I am professionally immersed in, I thought it would be a good idea to explain and shed some light on what Seamless Customer Experience really means to me.
There is no doubt that Customer Experience is a hot topic these days for clients – not just in the retail space but also other sectors such as Banking, Travel, and Telco.
Having a Seamless Customer Experience stretch across all touch points is of paramount importance in order for them to gain competitive advantage. If a company is able to provide an experience that sets it apart in the eyes of its customers, it is likely to increase the amount of consumer spending with the company and, ideally, inspire loyalty to its brand. There is evidence that companies that offer Seamless Customer Experience typically grow at more than double the rate of their competitors.
A couple of months back, I was scratching my head and trying to figure out what to buy my daughter for her fourth birthday so I decided to take a little look online. I punched in a few different searches into Google to try and identify a suitable item to purchase but nothing really inspired me so I decided to switch on my brain and make a decision on what would be appreciated but also a sound investment.
A children’s bicycle seemed like the most logical answer and would be a great accompaniment to her well used scooter. Retailers within the local area presented themselves as Argos, Toys R Us, and Evans Cycles – after doing some completive analysis, Argos came out on top. I could have been lazy and purchased online but her birthday was the next day so a trip down to High Street Kensington was the next stage of my Customer Journey and what was to be Seamless Customer Experience.
Physical stores remain the foundation of retailing, evidenced by the fact that 90 percent of all retail sales are transacted in stores and 95 percent of all retail sales are captured by retailers with a brick-and-mortar presence. It is important to acknowledge that shoppers actually find physical stores appealing—especially when we read all the hype about online and digital. Stores provide consumers with a sensory experience that allows them to touch and feel products, immerse in brand experiences, and engage with sales associates who provide tips and reaffirm shopper enthusiasm for their new purchases.
On stepping foot inside the store I became immediately disorientated – Argos had evidently modernized the look and feel of their stores and significantly improved the overall visual experience. My first question to the customer services representative was “What have you done with the catalogues?” Touch Screen iPads had replaced the legacy catalogues – the previously laboured exercise of flicking through the vast pages of those plastic bound catalogues until you land on the correct category or have the patience to identify the individual product had refreshingly become a thing of the past. I effortlessly navigated to my item to make a purchase but was disappointed to discover that they were no more girls 4 years + pink BMX’s in stock – damn!
The shop attendant must have seen the distressed look on my face and was already by my side with a smile offering me an alternative option – and that was to check availability within other local stores. Another example of great and Seamless Customer Service!
On to the Hammersmith branch it was, with a text message on route to notify me that my item was ready and waiting for collection in store. A happy customer and overall a Seamless Customer Experience!
By: Dan Coppleman
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