Four Ways To Improve The Customer Experience In 2016

1directbuyThe customer experience has evolved into a major differentiator in today’s marketplace. Not only can it inaugurate customer loyalty and retention, but it can instantaneously alter a brand’s image based on a single customer interaction. And with the eruption of new technologies mixed with the spread of multi-generational shoppers, it’s evident that investing in a robust customer experience is the best business decision retailers can make.

However, there are a myriad of ways retailers can procure an excellent experience that exceeds the needs of today’s customers. Whether it’s advancing high-touch personalization or enlisting the help of a full-bodied customer support team, these are just a handful of ideas that can help companies improve upon their customer interactions in the new year.

1. Be Mobile-Driven


Smartphones and tablets are taking the modern shopping experience to the next level. Today, there are currently 1.91 billion smartphone users, with 82% of them using mobile devices to shop, Beta News Reports. And since consumers are five times more likely to abandon shopping if the site isn’t optimized, businesses will sink if marketers don’t choose to strengthen their brand’s mobile experience.

Mobile optimization is an indispensable web site commodity, yet only 11.8% of web sites are actually mobile optimized, Marketing Land reports. Shoppers already use their smartphone to compare in-store pricing, and the mobile device is becoming the consumer’s go-to tool for all shopping needs. In fact, it is estimated that by 2020, user experience will surpass pricing and product as the main differentiator between brands. If marketers are not optimizing their web sites, they are leaving this rapidly growing demographic without access to products.

2. Implement Cross-Channel Marketing  

Providing a fluent customer experience is a dynamic factor in how much a customer trusts a company, making it imperative for traditional retailers to integrate these endeavors across all channels. But a recent 2015 report by The Relevancy Group found that only 37% of enterprise organizations share a centralized data repository.

Early adopters who have harnessed this cross-channel method are finding that they are able to better understand customers’ omnichannel shopping behaviors. In addition, proper cross-channel orchestration has been seen to correlate with higher revenue growth, because retailers are able to give shoppers a more personalized and accurate shopping experience. This only attests to the fact that ensuring all customer data is being centralized is key. This will not only permit retailers to implement a coordinated multichannel strategy, but also target key customers more effectively.

3. Enlist An Army Of Customer Service Avengers

According to “Understanding Customers,” it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one poor and unresolved one, verifying how indispensable a full-bodied and enthused team of customer service representatives can be to a retailer. But some fail to see the vitality of customer service, when the harsh reality is this team is the lifejacket that keeps a business buoyant. In fact, 40% of customers have said they no longer align with a company based on an unpleasant customer service experience.

One major downfall for any company is that they assume anybody can convey an immaculate customer service experience. Whether it’s on the phone, via social media or in person, these representatives need to possess the right amount of social intelligence, as well as be patient, authentic and empathetic, to provide an experience that is deemed superior.

4. Strive For A Customer-Centric Culture

Veneration for customer-centricity is becoming more important with retailers today. That’s because today’s employees feel more empowered when they are working toward a common purpose, which can help provide a better customer experience across the shopping pipeline. However, this intricate transformation doesn’t occur overnight. It takes time, energy, and needs to be cultivated across the entire organization.

The key to nurturing this nearly elusive culture style is by first ensuring a strong web of internal relationships between executives and employees spanning throughout the department. The entire team must be motivated to work as a united front to respond to customer questions, issues, ideas and praise in a systematic and timely manner. This not only will bridge the silos between departments, but also create a unified focus on serving the customer in the most effective way possible.

Another way to instill a customer-centric culture is to establish the appropriate mindset during the employee onboarding process. Since customer service is a catalyst that impacts other business purposes, try encouraging new hires to tie their work objectives to the customer experience. Aligning employees’ goals toward a purpose will only help your company stay true to its mission.


Dylan Astle has been DirectBuy’s Vice President of Member Experience since May 2013. In this role, Astle oversees the member experience within DirectBuy corporate headquarters and club operations. 

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