The business world as we have always known it is changing. Many would argue that is always has been – changing that is. Since the dawn of time, human beings have been interacting with each other, exchanging money for goods and services. Only yesterday, a contact of mine shared an article with me about, what is believed to be, the world’s first ever customer complaint….. 4,000 years ago!! However, whilst there have been one or two technological advances since the man who lodged the complaint, Nanni, felt compelled to write about his incorrect iron ore delivery on a tablet of stone, the emotions we are left with after many customer experiences 4,000 years later, have moved on to a much lesser degree.
The differences between the old Babylonian-era and today are far too numerous to mention here! When it comes to the world of retail, the advance of technology has changed the landscape more in the last ten years than it had in the previous 4,000! Every industry is going through a period of transformation, or disruption. The retail industry is the ‘poster boy/girl’.
Industry disruption, from a customer perspective, is a very good thing. As organisations continually try to find new ways of enticing us to part with our hard-earned cash, they are doing so by making our experiences better – easier, faster, cheaper. As markets becoming ever more saturated with similar products, differentiation purely based on product or price is becoming ever more difficult. Differentiation on the ‘entire’ customer experience is becoming ever more significant.
Despite this fact (that the entire customer experience is becoming ever more significant), there are countless examples of retailers (the ‘poster boy/girl’ of disruption) who seem to be failing to recognise it. As more and more brand names disappear from shopping malls and high streets – largely through their failure to adapt to the changing needs and wants of their customers – the need to make ‘the facts’ more widely known increases. Unbeknown to some, ‘the facts’ are available – and I am delighted to share a critically important source of fact, specifically focused on the retail industry, in this article.
The ForeSee Experience Index (FXI) is based on data collected quarterly from nearly 40,000 consumer surveys about shopper interactions with 100 non-grocery retail brands in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. Brands are ranked according to NPS on a scale of 100 to -100. When two or more scores are identical at one decimal place, the next decimal place is used to break ties and determine rankings. CSAT scores are listed for comparison purposes. The study is completed using a consumer panel representative of the general population fielded in the second quarter of 2018. If you work in the retail industry, I urge you to access the results!
Some of the highlights from the latest research are as follows:
- A CHANGING CUSTOMER JOURNEY – It’s clear that customers seek out and value new touchpoints, and that digital continues to expand: stores and contact centers increasingly incorporate web and mobile into customer interactions.
- 42% of shoppers use multiple channels and touchpoints before purchasing
- Multichannel shoppers are 16% more likely to purchase than are single channel shoppers
- Mobile purchases increased by 40% since the last Retail FXI
- NPS AND SATISFACTION – Four brands made the top five in both the Net Promoter Score℠ (NPS) and customer satisfaction (CSAT) lists, suggesting a strong link between metrics — and a payoff for investing widely in CX.
- Amazon wins on both NPS and CSAT lists
- The benchmarks show a recent drop in NPS
- BUILD A BETTER EXPERIENCE, SEE BETTER OUTCOMES – Customer expectations continue to rise. More competition, CX innovations, and pressure from other sectors all play a role. Consumers can stream shows from anywhere, and easily bank and pay bills from an app, so they wonder: why isn’t my retail experience that seamless? It’s a tall order, but brands that deliver will be rewarded.
The latest research contains a plethora of fascinating facts – the index itself looks like this for the US:
Here are the rankings for the UK and Canada:
Most importantly, ForeSee’s FXI confirms, yet again, the financial importance of customer experience:
To access the full report, you can download it here.
Alternatively, you could always ask ForeSee about it face to face – on the 6th September 2018, I will be talking alongside David Hudson of ForeSee at a Networking Breakfast in London. David will share more detail on the FXI, whilst I will be talking about my new book, ‘Customer What? The honest and practical guide to customer experience’. It would be great to see you there!