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Customer Experience

How to fill the customer experience gap

Written by Tony Loxton
Jan 6

In an ideal world, customer expectation aligns seamlessly with customer experience. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case (due to a variety of factors which I’ll explore later on in this article). The primary reason for this misalignment? Despite investing substantial portions of their budget into branding and advertising, very few companies focus on the areas that actively deliver on their brand promise and customers’ expectations. The result? Their customer experience doesn’t correlate.

Given the rise of popular peer-review sites like CHOICE, Word of Mouth and ProductReview, coupled with the ubiquity of social media and the modern consumer’s penchant for venting their frustration with the ease of a tweet, brands today can ill afford to have a gap in their customer experience. I’ll explore the ways that you can begin to close this gap and deliver customer experience that matches, and hopefully exceeds, expectation.

Here’s how to close the gap between customer expectation and experience:

Identify and then investigate the areas of issue

The spanner in the works that gets in the way of a seamless customer experience can be anything. From products or services that are faulty or failure to fulfil brand promises, slow or late delivery, long queues in store, to unpleasant interactions with employees and the slow resolution of customer complaints and queries. If you have trouble pinpointing the area that’s sabotaging the entire customer experience process, it’s advisable to move through the customer’s journey as they would: from exposure to advertising and marketing campaigns, right down to perusing your store and making a purchase.

Conduct regular customer service and sales skill training of employees

Your employees are the most important piece of the customer experience puzzle. In order to make sure that they’re continuously facilitating the best customer experience possible, they need to be trained to do so. This KPMG article points out that only a handful of forward-thinking Australian companies are investing in employee training, and “putting as much effort into the employee's journey as the customer journey, mapping out pain points, removing barriers and focusing on behavioural design that benefits your team.” This approach may be a new one, but it makes sense. If you design daily operational structures and processes with your employees in mind, you’re making it as easy as possible for customer-facing employees to excel.

Review and refine the recruitment process

Hiring the right people for the job can be tricky – yet it’s essential. It’s also a process that cannot be rushed. Because great customer experience begins with stellar employees, if you or your team are having trouble identifying or finding the perfect person for the job, it’s advisable to call in a specialised recruitment company.

Collect the right kind of customer information

Seamless customer experience begins with, you guessed it, your customers. You need to know what they want and expect from your brand to meet their expectations. Making use of in store analytics enables you to continuously gather data about the ways customers are interacting with employees and your store as a whole. Using these insights, you’re able to make informed decisions as to the ways you can better serve your customers.

Learn more about Blix Traffic for retail – the easy way to gather in-depth information about in-store interactions.

Learn more about Blix Traffic for retail

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