Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Retail Customer Experience Race

As the market becomes more and more crowded with new products and services, it is becoming more difficult than ever for companies to stand out from the noise. In the past, how you packaged your product was of paramount importance, along with the messaging around it. These elements are still critical, but in addition, now you need to offer your customer a unique experience.

Today, most retailers understand the inherent value of upselling, cross-selling and running specials—at the service level, these tactics maximize the marketing dollars spent getting that customer in the door. Yet small businesses are losing when it comes to capitalizing on these opportunities.

Software Advice, a resource for customer service technology reviews and comparisons, recently conducted “The Great Retail Experience Race: Local vs. National” to compare the customer experience of five Austin, Texas-based retailers and five comparable national chain stores. To gather this data, a team of 20 secret shoppers conducted 200 site visits, each lasting at least 15 minutes. One of the questions they had to answer was whether employees told them about sales or specials during their visit, or if anyone tried to upsell or cross-sell them. In every industry category but one, the national store outperformed the local shop. 

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