Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute report “Making the Digital Connection: Why Retail Stores Need a Reboot” consulted 6,000 consumers and 500 retail executives from nine countries. The conclusion:
Customers are simply not getting what they expect from an in-store experience.”
Not only did 40% of respondents describe going shopping as “a chore”, amazingly, over one third would prefer to figure-6-2-systems-for-listening-to-customers stay at home and wash the dishes!
What a sorry state of affairs.
I’m often asked to explain what exactly it is that I do.
The short answer is: I help Retail, Tourism and Hospitality organisations increase sales, productivity and profitability through creating POSITIVE Customer Experiences, Communication and Leadership.
The next question is, what’s “Customer Experience” – how does it differ from “Customer Service?”
While the news that UK unemployment rose last month – whilst wage growth remains below expectations – tends to reinforce the view that there may be tough times just around the corner for the economy, I’d suggest that this is the very moment that smart employers should be looking to invest in their people.
Because, when the economy turns down, and investment in capital projects is likely to be deferred, the people who deliver your Customer Experience are the one asset you can’t afford to put on the backburner.
Here’s a little checklist for every Customer-facing business. Nothing on the list costs very much money (just commitment, and time); however everything on the list will definitely make you (more) money. And – before you read it – please don’t assume you do all this already, or do it well enough. With the greatest respect, I’ve read too many Customer Promises and experienced too many one-sided Service encounters to believe that there isn’t a single business that couldn’t benefit from reviewing this list.
“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life.”
– Steve Jobs
I stayed in an above-average, boutique-ish hotel this week. The directions to the car park were ambiguous, so before checking in I had to abandon the car, run into Reception, and ask how to find the car park. When I returned, having parked, to check in, I noticed that the receptionist didn’t ask me whether I had found the car park.
Then I noticed a plaque on the wall, behind Reception. It said: “2014 Award of Excellence. As honoured by our Guests. 8.2/10.”
It struck me that 8.2/10 – 82% – was not necessarily something to shout about; not really something to be deemed an “honour”.
At my hotel this week I genuinely experienced “The Most Unbelievable Upgrade Yet”; just not in the way they meant! I’d suggest that almost any Customer Experience can be upgraded, and not expensively.
This is a short post with a simple message: recruit, induct, train and support people who will engage with your customers and take pleasure in adding value to their experience, and you will have a more profitable business!
The news that Thomas Cook has donated £1.5m to Unicef in connection with the deaths of two children during one of its package holidays in 2006 may abate the media storm surrounding the company. On the other hand, the cost to its reputation over the past nine years is incalculable.
Conrad Hilton died in 1979 and there are few of his stature and personal dominance running hotels today. More than half of the world’s hotels are now branded properties, with franchising being the operating model of choice for most of the large hotel operators, according to a new report. This perhaps explains why so many hotel experiences today are bland, homogeneous and sadly lacking in that vital component of Enthusiasm.