Keeping Up with the “Joneses” in Customer Care
There’s no question that social media technology has changed the expectations of customers who have been groomed by it to expect swift results. Always connected and able to research any topic with the touch of a button, they expect their experiences to be immediate, effortless, and accurate.
In fact, as they no longer see any difference in how they interact with multiple devices and content on a daily basis, why should they view their interactions across all verticals to be any different? To them, business is business, and they expect the same exact level of care, concern, and usefulness from each one regardless of the industry.
Jay Baer, author of Youtility, explains that, because customers are gathering information about companies and making purchase decisions differently in today’s world, companies must adapt to their expectations. They can no longer hide behind the status quo and their own past industry standards of doing things – where “good enough” has always been good enough. If customers are receiving a level of care from one business, they are going to expect it across the board. As described in Youtility, “Consumer expectations are being set by those front-running experiences…now they’re expecting those across all verticals, and a lot of companies are struggling with that.” (78) The ones meeting and exceeding customers’ expectations through helpful engagement are raising the stakes for the rest.
As Baer puts it, there’s a big difference between selling to a customer and helping a customer. Retailers can no longer limit their customer interactions to just promoting and selling. Rather, retailers must fully engage with consumers by providing real-time, relevant information that answers every question – and then some. Benefits from these interactions may take some time to materialize, but companies will find that the “trust capital” they’re building now will provide a solid foundation for future transactions and contribute to the longevity of their company. Baer’s philosophy: “If you sell something, you make a customer today; if you help someone, you make a customer for life.” (3) In a world where transparency is now the rule rather than the exception, providing this level of “usefulness” builds the kind of trust retailers need.
Through our people counting systems, ShopperTrak understands that, for retailers to gain a comprehensive picture of their own performance, they must have insight into the performance of the market as a whole. Many factors within a retailer’s marketplace must be considered when implementing the most effective strategy. Our in-store analytics can help retailers assess these factors and identify the best action to take to improve performance.