In the new normal that COVID has presented retailers with, being able to quickly identify and implement changes to customer experience (CX) is vital.
In the new normal that COVID has presented retailers with, being able to quickly identify and implement changes to customer experience (CX) is vital. How retailers can adapt and meet their customer demand while staying ahead of the competition will determine who will thrive and survive. Tesco has proved to be a great example recently of implementing rapid changes to their CX. The grocery retailer managed to double the number of home delivery slots offered to customers within a matter of weeks, from 590,000 to now over one million: a perfect example of understanding the customer need and working quickly to meet it.
We know that retailers are already ahead of the game when it comes to CX. Our view is that although most retailers already know the what that CX is vital - where they need support is with the how how they can benefit from adopting an agile mindset and implementing agile delivery techniques to accelerate their CX initiatives and give them an edge over their retail competition.
Agile delivery at the heart of customer experience initiatives to enable rapid improvements
COVID’s impact on the industry, in terms of the changing customer shopping dynamics and the speed at which retailers have to adapt in a hyper-competitive market, has been substantial. Understanding where and how to make CX improvement at a faster rate than the competition can be a daunting task. However, this is precisely how retailers can take the critical step to get ahead of their competitors.
How do you do it?
At Clarasys, we advocate an agile approach which guarantees fast, testable results, ensuring you deliver fast, valuable improvements to your customers. From an organisational perspective, agile enables retailers to transition quickly from the voice of the customer being received and understood, to empowered employees then being able to self organise and implement the changes needed. The same rapid transformation is also apparent when looking at the process view, with fast prioritisation and early reviews enabling the right changes which can then be built upon. In an industry as competitive as retail, early testing allows you to determine just how valuable or not a product or service is, and quickly work to adapt it to continuously drive better value for your customers.
Given the recent focus on digital channels, one area you are likely to find room for rapid CX improvement is your multi-channel customer experience. Areas for improvement here are countless. Using the right data you can assess where you lose customers along your customer journey, why baskets are not purchased, why payments are not processed, why orders are not delivered on time, and much more. An agile mindset is critical to avoid the risk of getting stuck in a state of “analysis paralysis” and to focus on breaking down the problem in slices that you can prioritise and quickly deliver to improve your CX.
This is why we advocate the below six agile principles to apply to your retail CX undertakings.
Early and iterative review - ensure your CX initiatives are on the right track early and often, engaging with key business stakeholders and of course your customer base.
Build ‘just enough’ content, process and design - documentation is great, but only to a point. Build just enough to get your CX initiative out there early.
Cross-functional, autonomous teams working to a common goal - to make sure the CX initiative is successful, you’re going to need expertise and input from a wide range of people who are on-board and passionate about the idea.
Self-organising teams - encourage and enable your team to work collaboratively together, utilising their expertise and disseminating ownership amongst them.
Regular reflection and adjustment - critical to any agile CX initiative, understanding what you have done before, how the customer has received it and considering what needs to be done next, allows you to adjust your approach and output.
Regular prioritisation - we all know that things change, and so regular prioritisation of your CX backlog is needed to ensure you focus on the item that will provide the most benefit to your customers in the near-term.
When implemented correctly, the agile approach can be a game changer in implementing rapid CX changes to your business to stay ahead of the curve.
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