Customer Experience: The Difference Between Retail Therapy and a Headache

Uncover how analytics, omnichannel, and personalization can drive loyalty in retail

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Customer Experience: The Difference Between Retail Therapy and a Headache
Data & AnalyticsInsights

Published: October 3, 2022

Charlie Mitchell

CX in retail is changing. Consider loyalty programmes. Many businesses now offer paid loyalty schemes – or “VIP member clubs” – instead of points-based systems.

These often include the opportunity for paying customers to contribute to social decision-making for meaningful engagement, making them feel like an integral part of the brand.

Target does this through its RedCard, allowing customers to vote on how they direct donations to numerous worthy charities.

Another emerging trend is fitting additional services around products, such as delivery and installation, expanded warranty, and post-sale tech support. Some of which are free, whereas others may generate additional revenue streams.

Adding these features allows retailers to differentiate their offerings beyond the purchase alone.

These are just two of the key trends changing retail experiences. There are many more, and part of a business’s headache is simply focusing on the right areas to maintain customer loyalty and deliver retail therapy.

What Drives Retail Therapy?

What drives a good or bad experience from a customer’s perspective? Many businesses struggle to answer this question as “dark data” hides the answer – i.e. data that they just cannot reach.

As such, it is easy to make incorrect assumption about what customers want. When this happens, targeted CX improvement actions miss the mark, resources fall into the wrong place, and companies fail to maximize their CX investment.

Such retail headaches come at a cost: 32 percent of all customers would stop doing business with a brand after one bad experience, even one they loved, according to PWC.

To course-correct, consider digging into conversational data, analyzing positive service experiences, and spotlighting excellent behaviors.

To do so, use a combination of omnichannel conversational data, speech analytics, and social listening tools – such as storm CONTACT™: SOCIAL. These tools also allow brands to map these behaviors across all channels and uncover whether agents are delivering.

Yet, on top of this, consider customer emotion – which is also possible to track with speech analytics.

After all, selling is not only about the product itself anymore but about the emotions and experiences around it. As Martin Taylor, Deputy CEO and Co-Founder of Content Guru, adds:

“Many businesses are harnessing analytics to pinpoint the customer emotions that drive value and are using these to design emotionally engaging experiences – both in-store and online.”

With this knowledge of customer sentiment, retailers can train their people to evoke the right emotions while tailoring customer journeys to generate loyalty and increase revenue.

Building Omnichannel Experiences in Retail

For many organizations, jumping straight into AI and analytics is jumping the gun. Without a strong omnichannel ecosystem underpinning the contact center, businesses will not be able derive maximum value from these technologies.

Furthermore, these unprepared organizations are unlikely to tackle other prominent retail headaches; such as failing to track a customer’s interaction history or seamlessly switching conversations across channels.

As such, customers find themselves repeating information, or otherwise dealing with clunky online navigation systems. Meanwhile, support staff gain little insight into the customer journey, causing confusion and driving up handling times.

The best CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) platforms, like the storm Cloud Contact Center, unify all channels on a single platform to enable omnichannel experiences. To do so, they leverage enterprise data through integrations with various applications, systems, and databases.

In addition, such solutions route conversations across all these channels to reach the best-placed agent or conversational AI system. At the same, service teams are supplied with the information they need to support the customer.

However, according to Taylor, the application of CCaaS extends beyond the confines of the contact center. He says:

“By combining all systems of record onto a single interface – which employees may access across all devices – businesses can make more of their data and build better experiences for when customers step into stores.”

For example, when a customer walks into a store, the sales associate can view their style preferences and tailor product recommendations to these, increasing the chance of a sale.

Using Data to Deliver Loyalty and Personalization

With an omnichannel solution, many opportunities for personalized retail experiences arise. For instance, companies can offer:

  • Personalized, relevant advertisements
  • Targeted product and service recommendations
  • Contextualized proactive alerts
  • Dynamic pricing and special offers
  • Automated form-filling

Conversational AI enables further use cases, exploiting omnichannel data and delivering personalized service that unifies in-store and online experiences.

Consider a familiar scenario where a customer buys a birthday present online. However, they soon realize that the delivery will arrive after the event.

Instead of having them find a service number, navigate the IVR, and wait in a call queue, conversational AI solutions offer the chance to streamline the experience.

Immediately recognizing customer intent, bots may present the consumer with an option to pick up their order more quickly from a store in a convenient location.

The result is memorable, positive experience which ends on a high. Per the Peak-End Rule, such journeys are more likely to drive heightened loyalty and social shares.

Discussing the possibility of building personalized journeys like this, Taylor states:

“With our brain® AI toolkit, retailers can build intelligent chatbots into their customer journeys. They may also utilize the intuitive, drag-and-drop storm FLOW™ tool to design experiences without technical expertise.

storm VIEW™ enables real-time analytics to dig into the success of customer interactions, tracking the trends and emotions that matter most to your business.”

“Finally, with storm CONTACT™: SOCIAL, businesses may also bring all social media channels onto a single pane of glass to gain an even more comprehensive view of how social journeys impact loyalty.”

Indeed, the Content Guru suite is designed to deliver unified experiences across all channels, supporting retailers from the first to the last customer touchpoint.

Creating Unified Retail Experiences with Content Guru

In a world where competitors are only one click away, achieving customer loyalty is tricky. Yet, it is not impossible.

Content Guru sees this day-in and day-out, working closely with many retailers to create memorable, automated, and personalized customer experiences.

To discover more, check out its whitepaper: The rebirth of retail: How omni-channel retail is transforming the way we shop


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Brands mentioned in this article.


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