Future of retail: customer experience management or damagement?

Customer experience is the new mantra of all businesses, but many players do not seem to understand that it is a very holistic mindset and a specific way of operating your business on every (trans)action and touch point basis.

I have recently had two very different shopping experiences: One Saturday afternoon  I called to my all time favorite supplier that covers most of my needs from food to clothing to ask if they had certain product still available that I wanted to buy during the same afternoon. This used to work easily: I could call, book the product and drive to pick it up at the store within 3 days. This time it worked differently: “ If you wish to get service in Finnish, press 1, if you wish to get service in Swedish, press 2 and if you wish to get service in English, press 3. After this time consuming introduction: “all our lines are busy, please hold”. After waiting over 10 minutes  I hung up. Did not visit the store nor buy the product.

A few days later I browsed winter jackets online and yes, found one. Checked from other sites that the price was ok and found out it was  actually better than in other stores. Right before payment small box appeared on the site: “We are happy to get you back into our store, pls use your campaign code xxx and get 10% discount. Of course I used it, but would have bought the jacket anyway. Happy and surprised customer, yes!

Even if the sample is small and very subjective, I would say eCom will be the winner in customer experience improvement war, if brick and mortar stores will keep on focusing on cost saving only.

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