Retailers are past the stage of debating the importance of customer experience management. Now they have to master it.

Mastering CX however throws up many challenges. There’s the overwhelming amount of data, the increasing complexity of the customer journey and the sheer volume of different technologies available to retailers. 

Our latest study, The Retailer’s Imperative: Strategic Approaches to Customer Experience, conducted in partnership with SDL, explores how retailers are addressing these issues, the tackling of which is essential to the strategic development of providing an excellent customer experience.

Findings are based on research carried in Q4 2014, collecting responses from over 200 senior retail marketers at organisations averaging around $500m in revenue.

Here are just some of the key insights to be found within...

The importance of integration across your customer experience management technologies

Although customer experience is an old idea, it is sparking a modern revolution. 

Many traditionally non-digital companies are facing continued pressure from their digital-first competitors and an increasingly mobile customer base. Control and choice have redefined how every consumer discovers, researches and purchases products.

Therefore customer journeys are increasingly complex and contain multiple touch-points, so integrating customer experience management technology across data sets, technologies and departments is vital for achieving efficiency, progress and innovation. 

We asked our respondents how important is integration across customer experience management technologies?

Almost every respondent (97%) said that customer experience management integration was important, with 45% seeing it as vital to their growth.

Mobile customer journeys strongly understood by more than half of organisations

We asked our respondents: how well does your organisation understand the customer journey for the following audiences? (this chart shows responses for ’strong understanding’).

The results of previous investment in understanding the mobile customer journey are evident as more than half are now satisfied with their knowledge of their customers’ mobile journeys. 

Various technical issues have hampered tracking and measurement efforts, and mobile has the lowest proportion of respondents saying they have a ‘strong understanding’ but the tide has turned, with more than 50% responding positively.

Investment and integration seen as biggest barriers to successful customer experience management

Today’s obstacles for customer experience management are fairly straightforward. Companies need the budget to install and integrate the essential technologies of CX. More than half of the survey respondents cited integration (51%) and investment (52%) as their chief barriers to successful customer experience management.

Retail is a sector that has arguably been most affected by the digital era. Retailers are responding to changes in consumer behaviour by actively attempting to evolve their organisation to better meet these needs, but without the budget and resources for integrating technology properly this will be an impossible task.

For much more in-depth insight, download the full report: The Retailer’s Imperative: Strategic Approaches to Customer Experience

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 22 January, 2015 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Pauline Ashenden, Marketing Manager at Eptica

As retailers analyse their Christmas 2014 performance, they need to understand two factors. Firstly customers are completely multichannel – they want answers on their channel of choice, and don’t care about the complexity behind the customer journey. They expect your technology and departments to be integrated as a matter of course. Secondly, their demands for an improved customer experience are continually growing – what was market-leading a year ago is now second rate. Companies are finding it difficult to grasp these two factors, leading to falling satisfaction levels (as measured by the Institute of Customer Service), even amongst the top retailers. More on this drop in this recent Eptica blog https://eptica.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/latest-uk-customer-satisfaction-index-results/

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