3 components of a seamless customer experience

Customer Satisfaction

03/19/2015

We're all out for that secret formula that is "guaranteed' to accommodate a customer's every desire.

We're all out for that secret formula that is "guaranteed' to accommodate a customer's every desire.

Yet we always approach this subject from the outside looking in. By doing so, we forget about the perspectives of the patrons themselves. So, it's about time we listen. Two years ago, Accenture conducted a survey of 750 adult consumers living in the U.S., 21 percent of whom maintained they intended to increase in-store shopping. Accenture Global Managing Director of Retail Chris Donnelly emphasized the importance of delivering universal, or omnichannel, customer engagement.

"Delivering a seamless experience across all retail touch points remains both a key challenge and prime opportunity for retailers today," said Donnelly, as quoted by the source. "Those retailers able to integrate the physical store with the rest of their digital capabilities ... can gain a true competitive advantage."

" One-up the usability of a PC or smartphone, and you'll impress customers."

So, what components make for a seamless customer experience?

1. Fast information
There are times when store representatives are busy. In some instances, an available store employee may not be as well-acquainted with a certain product line as his or her colleagues. So, in this regard, it's important to provide both your customers and workers with fast information. Think of the amount of time it takes for the average individual to find product descriptions and reviews online. Better yet, try to figure out how you can make it faster.

The key lies in designing in-store interactive kiosks and tablets to allow patrons and personnel to find item information and putting in the minimum amount of mental effort required to do so. One-up the usability of a PC or smartphone, and you'll impress customers with your ability to complement e-commerce.

2. Consistent information
Between the price tags in your store and the items listed on your website, every piece of data should be succinct. In a separate Accenture survey of 256 U.S. and European retail leaders and 1,503 multi-channel shoppers, 71 percent of consumers expressed the desire to find in-store inventory online.

It's important to promote consistency across in-store and online shopping channels.

Suppose a customer in search of a lawnmower finds that a home improvement store has four in stock. After driving 10 minutes to the outlet, he discovers that they sold out four hours ago. This points to the need for real-time compatibility with inventory tracking solutions. In addition, in-store technology providing outlet stock details must receive updates every time a sale is made. Although a lack of back-end integration is at fault, customers may feel hoodwinked if they come across information that contradicts data they originally found.

3. The same brand
The look, feel and flow of your in-store and e-commerce technology need to complement one another. The proprietor of a well-designed website is responsible for creating a unique experience. We're not referring to crazy user interfaces that are bizarre, but UIs that are exclusive to the different brands that employ them. For instance, a retailer's in-store information kiosk should mirror the customer experience provided by its e-commerce site.

With seamlessness comes consistency. While we focused on fostering unity across technology, don't forget how in-store employees can provide the same harmony between different channels.

ViewPoint Team

Articles bylined the ViewPoint Team

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