Let me quickly define Analogue in the context it is written. I define it as the well-oiled system already in place that is currently engaging customers. It could be your help desk services, your in-store experience or the interaction with the store personnel. In contrast, Digital is the technology assistance provided at the point of confluence to enable in understanding the needs of the customer, preference, buying patterns and engaging them outside the physical boundary of the retail establishment.
Customer Experience is the defining factor for success of any business leading to better customer retention which translates into better business. 89% of consumers say that they have switched business to a competitor due to poor customer experiences.
There somehow seems to be a misconception that by having a sound digital strategy could only mean you are providing great customer experiences. However in lieu of proper analogue practices, a digital strategy will only heighten customer expectations while leading to many customer disappointments.
How can you tackle the Divide between Digital expectations and Analogue experiences?
The further the divide, greater the disappointments will be. Here are a few questions you should be asking yourself if providing better customer experience is on top of your list.
Do your digital and analogue services complement each other?
Customer Satisfaction is the difference between the Customer expectation and their experience. When expectations are very high and if the experience does not match, then there is disappointment. A survey was taken among companies that implemented digital enabled customer experience strategy, the results read as below
However good your digital strategy is, if your real-time operations don’t complement digital expectations then it leads to disappointment.
Are you overselling through your digital channel?
Last time when I went on a vacation, I came across a resort with a great website and a happening social presence. However I was quiet lost when I arrived at the resort as the soft aspects of the resort were completely missing. The hospitality, ambience, food and the décor were completely different from what I was expecting. The resort that I kept stalking on various digital channels was not the same resort I went to, it was alarmingly different!
Can you up keep the same experience across your digital and analogue presence?
Omni channel strategy is one of the paramount digital initiatives for all retail firms that are looking forward to take as part of digitizing their business. While implementing this, it is important to understand that the experience across multiple customer facing channels (including stores) needs to be consistent. Take for example if a product is available in one channel, an obvious assumption would be its availability across the other channels as well. If the customer walks into a store and finds out its not available or if there is a slight price differentiation between channels, it’s going to lead to a severe burn in customer loyalty.
It’s no longer brick and mortar stores vs e-commerce, omni-channel is the new reality for success among retailers. Physical store operators like Macy’s are experiencing considerable digital success, while online merchants including Amazon are expanding with showrooms and meeting shoppers face to face. If your strategy is to first ‘wow’ customers by going digital out, make sure you have the analogue support in place for your customers to experience the same when they walk into your store. The convergence of the physical and digital world that you provide to your customers must come with the right balance in order to achieve better customer experiences.
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