Online shopping makes it easier for consumers to shop more often, and throughout the day. According to research from the IBM Institute for Business Value and the National Retail Federation, 71% of consumers shop in “micromoments”—whenever the impulse strikes—and often while they are doing something else, such as taking a break from a work project, eating lunch or even running on a treadmill.
This means that, for most consumers, the retail experience may start anywhere: on a website or during a phone call, in an email or on a live chat with customer service. Regardless of where the buyer’s journey starts, it must feel consistent with your brand’s promise. And each interaction, whether online, over the phone or in person, needs to deliver a positive “defining moment.”
What Defining Moments Are and Why They Matter to the Customer Experience
In a defining moment, a customer forms an impression of your company. Greeting a customer, answering a question, offering an option or resolving a problem: these are all defining moments that affect the customer’s impression of your business. How the customer perceives their relationship with your company is the summation of every defining moment they experience across all touchpoints and channels.
Defining moments that fail to meet customer expectations are negative and damage customer loyalty. Those that exceed customer expectations are positive and lead to higher customer satisfaction, favorable word of mouth, and organizational success. But with consumers more informed than ever before, and with specific ideas about how a product should be produced, priced and sold, it’s harder than ever to deliver a positive customer experience.
The inability to impress customers means that most defining moments are neutral—and neutral moments are the biggest threat to customer loyalty. With a negative defining moment, customers typically complain and give a company an opportunity to address a problem, creating an opportunity for customer service to redeem itself with a positive defining moment. But when neutral moments stack up, buyers often start looking to competitors for a better customer experience—and you’ll never notice until they’ve stopped buying from you.
How can retail organizations guard against neutral customer experiences and start delivering a consistently high customer experience? By training their customer service teams to always follow customer experience best practices that make their customers feel special.
How Customer Experience Training Leads to Higher Customer Experience Metrics
Miller Heiman Group, now part of Korn Ferry, has delivered Service Ready customer experience training to hundreds of consumer retail businesses, from big box sellers of consumer products to travel and hospitality providers, fashion outlets, media and entertainment conglomerates and advertising and marketing organizations. We’ve trained store managers, customer service associates, call center agents and sales specialists—in short, anyone who owns the responsibility for delivering exceptional customer service.
We help organizations map their customer’s journey, breaking down their service interactions into a series of defining moments. We then help them determine which of these moments are the most important to their customers; they can’t manage every defining moment, so we help them choose which ones can set them apart from their competitors and show them how to manage them down to the smallest detail, so they can make each of these experiences extraordinary for their customers. Service Ready teaches customer service reps how to guide customer conversations from open to close, regardless of the channel, confidently setting appropriate customer expectations and refocusing customers on the value that you offer. In Service Ready, customer service reps also learn how to address customer challenges and deliver additional value to surprise and delight customers.
After Service Ready, these organizations had increases in their customer experience metrics across the board.
- One telephone company retailer saw a 29% jump in their conversion rate, and 82% of its sellers felt positive about the changes in their sales process.
- A big box retailer reduced its employee turnover from 45% to 30%.
- Another big box retailer increased its customer satisfaction (CSAT) score by 11%.
- One specialty retailer increased its average units per sale from 2.7 to 4.1; another increased its CSAT score and conversion rates by 3%.
Service Ready teaches retail organizations how to dazzle their customers with experiences that raise the bar for customer experience—and how to keep raising that bar to stay ahead of their competition.
Service Ready Improves Retailers’ Customer Experience Strategy
Ready to join the ranks of retailers enjoying higher CSAT scores and revenue? Contact us for more details about how our Service Ready customer experience training can make a difference for your customer service metrics.