Focus on Customers Helping Retailers Survive in Uncertain Economy
August 27, 2008
While customers have always played a key role in the success of a business, the need to better meet customer demands is increasing as concerns of economic uncertainty grow.
Retailers are especially looking more closely at customer data and leveraging key findings to deliver a differentiated customer experience.
Recent research findings from RSR Research point to an increased amount of retailers seeking customer experience organizations as a way of getting better insight out of their customer data.
Differentiating the customer experience helps companies to retain loyal customers by focusing on their needs and offering more targeted marketing and communications.
The RSR Research report, "Loyalty and Personalization: The Next Generation of Retail CRM, Benchmark 2008," sponsored by Retalix, SAP (News - Alert), and SHC Direct, found that more retailers are moving toward this better alignment of their customer relationship programs and objectives in a bid to drive repeat visits and purchases.
For those retailers who are performing poorly however, the lack of insights from their customer data and "few measures of programs' effectiveness impede retailers' ability to derive insights about customers," the research found.
"I was shocked to see that only 20 percent of survey respondents strongly agreed that they know who their best shoppers are," said Nikki Baird, Managing Partner at RSR Research and author of the report. "Worse yet, absolutely no poorly performing retailers self-identified that they do. If you don't know who your best shoppers are and develop targeted ways to engage them, you won't stand a chance at keeping them."
To keep up in the slowing economy, it is becoming more and more important for retailers to focus on customer's needs including identifying target segments, designing and delivering offers for them and tracking performance.
Recent benchmark research from Ventana also points to the importance of CEM solutions to improve customer-related processes and influence customer behavior at every touch point.
According to the research, accurate measurements of customer perceptions including using customer feedback surveys at the end of an interaction to ensure experience is still fresh in the customer’s mind and using quality monitoring processes in which supervisors listen to sample call recordings, helps contact centers to accurately measure their performance and improve interactions with customers.
Stefania Viscusi is an assignment editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Stefania’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi