Monday, December 9, 2013

Journey Beyond Touchpoints

Store sales may include a set of touchpoints—significant interactions between the consumer and the retailer which occur at different times. In addition to the purchase transaction, there could be the delivery and installation, repairs under warranty, responding to post-purchase complaints, or trade-in on an updated model, for instance.
     Retailers often measure their success by looking at performance at each of the touchpoints. After analyzing alternatives to this approach, management consultants with McKinsey and Company recommend attention to what they call journeys—the total start-to-finish experience as a unit. In their studies, performance on journeys, compared to performance on touchpoints, was about 25% more strongly correlated with higher revenue, repeat purchasing, lower customer turnover, and positive word of mouth. Performing one point better on a ten-point scale of journey rating than did other businesses competing for the same consumer dollar ended up producing a revenue growth rate of at least two percentage points.
     The McKinsey consultants found that managing journeys is difficult when there are service silos, with separate staff engaging in different touchpoints and those different sets of staff coordinating poorly. This difficulty is more common in large retailing businesses than with the smaller retailer who has fewer staff and more overlapping duties. Even with the small to midsize retailer, though, better journeys result when staff discuss regular customers and keep notes on touchpoint episodes for reference later. Encourage cross training and employee collaboration.
     If you hand off a shopper during a journey, do it with care and caring. When the customer has a complaint which requires referral to a supervisor, does your employee describe the problem to the supervisor in a way which shows respect for the customer, even if your employee thinks the complaint is foolish?
     Whenever you think you’ve resolved a complaint, ask the customer, “Are you fully satisfied?” If she replies she is not, work to change the customer’s answer to yes. When you get the yes, say, “If you ever have a problem like this again, please be sure to let me know. Here is my business card.” Use “I,” “me,” and “my” instead of “our store.” Take personal responsibility.
     Then be sure all staff know that if a customer calls or comes in asking for an employee by name, staff either fetch the employee or say the person isn’t available now and add, “May I please see if I can help you?”

Click below for more: 
Hand Off Customers with Care and Caring 
Track the Trajectory of In-Store Impressions 
Get Second Chance for Good Impression

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