Customer experience is one of the more recent buzz words in the retail and retail property industries. What ever happened to the lowly slogan of Customer Service and Customer First? Providing your customer with a brilliant customer experience is crucial in the current climate where customers have SO MUCH CHOICE and they are more discerning than ever. But what is a customer experience?
1. It's a focus on the basics. If you're a retail landlord this is a focus on the customer journey. This includes your car park, to your cleaning standards, facilities, ease of access, customer communication etc etc. For a retailer this is having the right product, in the right place, at the right price, with beaming staff who blow the socks off your customers (creating an experience). I would argue these basics are critical to ensure any retailers success but..... getting these basics right are simply your ticket to play, not a guarantee of any success at all.
2. Customers don't buy products, they buy an experience. Another one of the more recent buzz word slogans. Now this one I'm going to go out on a limb and say YES - for the Western World anyway. Customers in "Western" markets can pretty easily access most things we desire on a daily/weekly or perhaps a monthly basis. And what we do is constantly consume, consume and.... you guessed it...... consume some more. We generally never get full of this need to consume either. That's great news if you're in the retail industry. But how do you stand out from the crowd in a world of so much distraction, noise, alerts, emails, texts, beeps and buzzes.
3. So create an experience.... Create an experience that your customer hasn't experienced anywhere else. This can be as simple as having the most amazingly down to earth and knowledgeable staff in your retail category. You always remember those very rare service experiences where you were blown away with the staffs knowledge, motivation or just simply their personality. DO SOMETHING UNEXPECTED. I've worked with companies who call this surprise and delight..... a slightly disturbing term however the basic premise is right. Little things that give your customer a great memory, or bonus value of some sort that have a high PERCEIVED VALUE to the customer.
This is such a meaty topic so I admit I haven't even scratched the surface here. Let's tackle some of the detail next time.