What Does The Customer Want?

6 March 2015

My family splits our grocery shopping budget between three and sometimes four stores. I won’t use their real names other than a category description. The fruit shop is our favourite. We like the selection, good quality, and interaction with employees who genuinely seem to enjoy working there and helping customers (note I did not mention price). A great experience overall.

Why don’t we spend all our money there? In two words, convenience and selection. The fruit shop is a 15-minute drive away, and we make the trip once a week (normally weekends) to stock up. Other shopping is done at the local butchers (two of them) which are in the same area as the fruit shop and then a large supermarket which is a five minute drive away. We start at the fruit shop, then the butcher, followed by the supermarket and that’s our weekly shopping done.

If I received a survey from all four stores, I would tell the fruit shop to open a store nearby, the butchers to carry a bigger selection and improve customer service (we would then only call on one), and the supermarket to update its tired location and carry a larger range of specialty foods. However, without these changes, it is not going to change our spending. So continuing as we are is not going to change how much we buy from each location, which translates into nil growth or benefit for any one of the stores we frequent.

And as for the two butchers? We enjoy shopping at both but they are very different. One offers great customer service and the other not. Their selection of ‘made-up’ speciality meats also differs greatly with good options for both. Getting bigger wouldn’t necessarily help, unless one decides to carry a larger selection, hiring and training good customer service employees is another. However, none of this is going to happen unless they understand where their problems are. And we will continue to split our spending between the two.

Customer Experience to the Rescue?

In the past few years there’s been a groundswell of support for improving the Customer Experience with Customer Experience Management programs. It should be as simple as asking customers what it is they want and giving them more. But it is not quite that simple.

Actions have to be in context with a business goal as this provides direction regarding the required feedback, instead of blindly adopting an easy or popular method such as the NPS or the recently trendy CES (Customer Effort Score). The NPS is a brand measurement score and should be run in tandem (or jointly) with a secondary subset of questions relative to the business goals. The focus is dramatically different and consequently so is the customer feedback response. There is so much more to CEM than simply having a fancy database, without the proper strategic knowledge to wordsmith and produce the required survey questioning. Please contact us to assist you with your next customer experience survey.

Please call Freephone 0800 164470 or email richard@vigil.net.nz

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