Relationships are fundamental to who we are, and they all need work if they’re going to last the distance. It always takes a conscious effort and a sincere approach to keep the flame burning – and relationships between retailers and their customers are no different. This past year has compelled a vast proportion of consumers to reassess their relationships with the brands they love, with the pandemic forcing a real moment of truth as customers gazed at their go-to stores with the question, are you going to be part of my future, just because you’ve been part of my past? The answer has not always been yes – with changes in the ways people eat, shop, exercise and live their lives from day to day, many consumers have been turning to their favourite brands and saying, it’s not you, it’s me: everything’s different now, and it’s time for me to move on.
“A key point of the pandemic has been that loyalty is up for grabs, like never before,” says Resonate Solutions CEO Mita Bedi, whose customer experience platform helps retailers understand how people buying their products are perceiving their customer journey. “Loyalty has been cracked open and become more malleable and more changeable than at any other time in the recent past in retail, and retailers can no longer rely on the decades of loyalty they’ve built up – because customers are questioning this relationship.”
With consumers shopping for new partners, retailers have been presented with great opportunities to gain territory that used to be hard to achieve because of upstream behaviour patterns in lifestyle. With these patterns now having been changed, this is the moment for smarter, more digitised, nimbler retailers to grab market share. Retailers with accurate, real-time data around customer sentiment are finding themselves able to achieve key insights into how behaviours are changing, making use of those opportunities out there by first seeking to understand them.
In the midst of all this market disruption, retailers have scrambled to make large operational changes, such as opening and closing stores or changing store timings, or evaluating changes in global supply chains and product mixes. With so many transformations underway at the same time, they’ve had to make sure they aren’t churning their customers – with the danger always being that there’s another retailer delivering on all this complexity better than they are. This is where real-time customer experience platforms have been helping store managers to understand the opportunities and execute on them by leading their teams to change their work strategies based on the data they see.
“Not only do you need to change strategy, you need to change all frontline behaviour during the pandemic and post pandemic,” explains Bedi. “During this disruption, there’s been no time to keep rewriting the manual – so companies on the digital transformation path that are already very customer-led, with real time insights being democratised across the organisation, have not only been able to think nimbly, they’ve been executing more nimbly and getting all of their staff on board with servicing the customer where the opportunities lie.”
According to Bedi, it’s the CX platform that allows frontline retail execution and strategic transformation to come together through clear, short, sharp, and easy-to-chew insights that will prevail over complicated data science-based dashboards, given the critical importance of the frontline team to be able to absorb the information just as the senior management needs more strategic data. Resonate Solutions’ platform is designed to provide that whole stack.
“What the product allows you to do is to give everyone a little bit more intelligence in order to make the day more successful,” says Bedi. “In the old days, wars were fought with strategy on paper, and then the front line going out and executing on strategy, based on the plan. Now, modern soldiers go out with night vision: they have data coming into their helmets even on the front line, so they can be more effective in the way they do their job. Likewise, much of modern retail is about giving your people on the ground that much more intelligence in bitere-sized pieces, because they have a job to do where every hour that they’re there, they need to be getting constantly better at serving the customer. And that is what the platform provides.”
Talk to Resonate Solutions to learn more about best practice in customer experience, drive revenues or implement an effective NPS program. See www.resonate.cx for details.