Remember a time when you scored a deep discount on a new purchase? You likely left the store simply dying to get home to share the news with family. This has been referred to as retail therapy. You had a feeling of conquest.

Now fast forward into the digital economy and all of a sudden you find there is a retail revolution. Shoppers are being reprogrammed so instead of hopping into our cars, finding a mall and searching for the latest bargain, we go online and check out product or service reviews, find the latest gadget or item, surf through more reviews and make decisions to finalize a purchase.

The immediacy of our former retail therapy is being replaced one transaction at a time via digital tools.

Purchasing Behaviors Reprogrammed

Last year in the U.S., e-commerce growth outpaced other non-retail categories in July, producing a possible 20 percent year-over-year growth in sales, according to Digital Commerce and Retail Statistics from July 2016.  Best in class companies are driving this revolution, embracing their customer journey and building customer loyalty through digital support.

Anatomy of an Online Purchase: Gift> Action> Goal>Score!

Gift: For Father’s Day

Action: Hop online and search for the black Puma’s (bonus — on sale and free shipping). This combination delivers the kind of Dopamine (a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain‘s reward and pleasure centers) with the same intensity formerly linked to the retailers shopping clearance rack.

Goal: Found gift

Score: Ordered Item. Immediate communication from company reinforced the selection. Their email stated: “We loved your selection!”

This is when their digital support goes into full swing.  While I wait for the parcel to arrive, I am kept informed and boosted up by their engagement. I receive a series of emails and they anticipate my needs (by sending the tracking number). During the next two days, I simply clicked the provided link numerous times with the anticipation of a child awaiting a gift during the holidays. The need for immediacy was successfully reprogrammed with another well-orchestrated series of events.

The proactive nature of the customer journey built loyalty and trust, even though I hadn’t even seen my purchase. The use of complete digital support, ease of access online and chat capabilities when necessary all made this a truly enjoyable experience.

Today’s omni-channel experience can be a challenge, delivering service across a wide variety of mechanisms such as the web, email, chat, various social media sources and smartphones. By making your service outstanding, you are building a series of positive, defining moments and increasing the chances of getting rave reviews.

For more information on building customer loyalty and how to increase the number of positive defining moments being served to your customer base, check out our session during the live TSIA virtual summit on July 13: Transforming the Customer Experience with Social Support or see Miller Heiman Group’s Service Ready solutions.

You can also learn more about the future of sales and service by registering for our webinar: What Does the Future of Sales and Service Look Like?: Examining the Impact of the Future on Three Key Areas – Training, Technology and Talent.

About the Author: Danielle Miller is the Client Experience Product Manager for Miller Heiman Group.

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