Customer Experience - A Smokescreen of Talk Masks A Failure to Deliver.

How many retailers – especially listed retailers – do you hear talking about “the great lengths we are going to in order to lift our customer experience”. It seems every second day another business leader, who looks entirely disconnected from the customers the business serves, delivers a very slick piece of theatre in the hope the media will spread their message for them.

After all, if people read it, see it or consume it in the media it must be true.

However more often than not the more a leadership team talks about improving customer experience the less they seem to understand how to deliver it or – worse still – what it actually is. There is no doubt in the shopper’s perception, customer experience is increasingly being dumbed down through cost cutting, poor process, sub-standard products, confusing communication, unmotivated employees, poor training, lack of corporate focus and clouded vision.

Lets face it, great customer experience is delivered by a handful of retailers today and truly understood by just as many.

The problem for most retail businesses is leadership that over-complicates business practices in what is essentially a simple model.

Customer experience starts with (and cannot neglect) the basics and builds on them as the foundation for success. The right products and services in the right place at the right time. To go above the basics requires simplification not complication. Removing customer stress and making the selection and purchasing easy, confidence inspiring and enjoyable while making the whole experience as productive as possible for the business is the balancing act.

The customer experience isn’t something that should be a ‘project’ – it is the business.

How does the way you do business improve the lives of all your stakeholders? How do they acknowledge that you add value?

That is the basis for superior customer experience. That is what is ingrained into everything the best retailers in the world deliver every day in every aspect of what they do and how they do it. That kind of focus is what it takes to deliver the best customer experience you can and the best customer experience directly produces the best profit outcomes.

Without that focus a retail business is relegated to lots of well-intentioned activity but with little sustainable gain. Customer experience comes from understanding your connection first and foremost and embedding and defending it at all costs. When that’s in place, decisions and actions are easy. And you don’t need to talk it up. You just deliver!