The art and science of delivering a legendary Customer Experience
Posted on Friday, July 20th, 2012
In a whitepaper presented jointly by Axsium and Empathica, entitled “Focusing Your Workforce on The Moment of Truth,” we examine the survey findings and its impact on workforce management and customer experience. The following article is an excerpt – the conclusion section which sums up the meaning of delivering a legendary customer experience and the benefits of aligning workforce strategy with customer experience objectives.
Today, retailers are competing on the customer experience. As we have discussed, this experience is more than a purchase decision. It is a journey made up of multiple “moments of truth”. As our survey results have shown, the workforce has a far-reaching and tangible affect on the customer experience as a whole and the many of the individual moments of truth along the way.
To deliver a legendary customer experience, retailers must challenge themselves. They must ask themselves, “Where in our workforce strategy do we consider how to deliver our customer experience strategy and how do we provide the agility to incorporate ever-evolving customer insights?” In other words, “are we doing all we can to facilitate and deliver a legendary customer experience at each store, one customer at a time?” The old tenants of a workforce strategy are sound: automation, cost control, speed, scalability — but alone they are not enough.
It takes more to deliver an experience that satisfies your customer’s needs, resonates locally, and positively changes their buying behaviors. Ultimately, the customer experience must match the promises you have publically made about what your brand stands for, to the point where the customers feel emotionally invested. As advocates, they can become a powerful marketing force for your brand, telling their friends and family about how their local store and their favorite associate went above and beyond, helping to acquire new customers, and firmly retaining the ones you have. Yes, retailers have to do this cost effectively, and yes, they have to be compliant at all times. But, think about this idea in terms of your brand and how you deploy your people.
Much can be done by asking the right questions and self-assessing the current status of workforce alignment and customer experience strategy. As outlined in this paper, fairly simple labor model changes and/or labor model updates, improvements to scheduling and forecasting, a thorough assessment of existing and new talent, a comprehensive training strategy, and an integrated, prescriptive CEM program can chart the course to a properly aligned workforce strategy. This is not to suggest that retailers need to take on all of these areas at once. In fact, for most it will be one or a combination of a couple of these elements that often lead to significant improvements in the experience. Delivering a legendary customer experience is both an art and a science, and the benefits of aligning your workforce strategy with your customer experience objectives are clear: an engaged, focused workforce delivering on the brand experience that customers expect — at every location, on every shift.
To learn how to deliver a legendary customer experience through your workforce, download the full whitepaper “Focusing Your Workforce on the Moment of Truth.”
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