Amazon has reimagined the way retail customer experience should be delivered. Their retail strategy is now the model of many aspiring companies looking to excel in customer satisfaction. In this blog, we will detail what Amazon is doing right with their CX and offer 4 tips for your brand to face this retail giant.
What’s Amazon Doing Right?
Implementing a customer-centric model is the keystone of the brand. More than just prioritizing the retail customer experience, Amazon implements customer feedback to best meet current (and ever-evolving) customer expectations.
According to Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, the company’s success can be attributed to its eagerness to innovate in the realm of customer experience. They’re willing to take risks, to fail, and to persist in order to deliver the best service possible to clients. They’re obsessed with getting things right for their customers rather than becoming better than their rivals.
Technology such as AI and automation continues to play a large role in improving Amazon’s retail customer experience. It has enabled the brand to gather user information and personalize experiences based on individual consumer preferences.
Fig. 1. Number of Amazon Prime members in the United States
The utilization of Alexa and the promotion of perks included in Prime membership have empowered the company to become more accessible and friendly to consumers. Alexa has redefined how the company deals with customer wants, needs, complaints, preferences, and feedback. They’ve made a personal assistant available at every household, closing the gap between the company and its customers.
Excellent shipping services, friendly return policies, a wide selection of offers, huge and exclusive discounts, and easy payments all contribute to the giant’s ability to meet their customers’ expectations.
Facing the Giant
It’s hard enough to compete online against Amazon’s established retail portal as online shopping continues to grow in popularity. However, instead of shying away from this retail giant, brands can take a page from their book to enhance their own retail strategies.
Here are four tips to take away from Amazon’s retail customer experience strategy.
1. Become obsessed with learning about your customer.
To best understand how customers think, your team should look at business from the level of your customers. This entails asking for customer feedback, marketing the positive testimonials you receive and strategizing action plans to address customer complaints and concerns.
Fig. 2. Reasons for poor customer experience by age
But as explained in this MarketingProfs article, gathering customer feedback and implementing steps to enhance their experiences and loyalty to your brand should happen on an ongoing basis. In doing so, your brand will efficiently identify shifts in customer expectations and be able to align your products and services to their needs more easily.
Fortunately, there are many ways your brand can gain a comprehensive view of business from a customer’s perspective, including social media monitoring, mystery shopping programs, mobile app testing and more.
2. Train employees to become customer experience specialists.
While your brand may not have an Alexa, the importance of face-to-face retail customer service cannot be overstated. No bot or AI can beat an extremely knowledgeable staff who knows every feature and benefit of the product or service your brand offers.
Train employees to become customer experience specialists by being able to provide information about bestsellers, product distinctions and tips, and recommendations to best meet the needs and wants of each customer.
Trained customer experience specialists know when to effectively recommend items, can offer insights and information not often found online and work to master the arts of cross-selling and upselling.
To evaluate employee knowledge and customer service, as well as measure your training program’s success, your brand can implement incentive or rewards mystery shopping programs.
In such programs, overt mystery shoppers can present a reward if/when employees meet a certain criterion important to the brand’s customer experience. Or, covert mystery shoppers can report on the customer experiences they received, and your team can reward employees doing well after analyzing the results in your customized reporting dashboard.
3. Continue innovating and redefining market standards.
Amazon outpaces its competitors in terms of retail customer experience because they avoid being too complacent and continue to find ways to improve their customer service. They’re not worried about trying new things and failing because of their passion to make their brand even better.
Constantly reinvent yourself to adapt to ever-changing market trends. Keep churning out something new for customers to try. Put up new decorations, present new menus, or rearrange the shop. Ensure you are always delivering something fresh for people to experience.
Most important of all, deliver what your brand promises it will, and don’t shy away from feedback. There’s always room for improvement, which you should take advantage of if you want to get more customers to appreciate your brand. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but learn from them and continue to strive for excellence.
4. Provide convenience like no other.
Amazon commands 49% of online search and that’s because it’s convenient, friendly, and easy to use. These are the basic factors of what makes a satisfying customer experience. At the least, you should focus on these three aspects to improve the level of customer experience you provide.
In addition, a good online and physical presence are both vital in providing customer convenience since you’re giving them the choice to do business with you on both fronts.
There are many methods you can add to your retail strategy to provide better service, such as extending business hours to accommodate more people and ensuring a strong omnichannel presence. If an item is out of stock, put customers on a waitlist to receive alerts when the inventory is replenished.
Providing multiple payment options is also a convenient benefit. Cash and credit card options are pretty basic, but now there are even more convenient and contactless options such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Fitbit Pay and more.
Offering free shipping is another effective way to improve retail customer experience satisfaction, especially in online shopping. Studies show that more than 63% of users abandon their shopping cart if shipping costs are too high.
Fig. 3. Reasons for cart abandonment
Whether you can offer free shipping or not, it’s ethical to be transparent to customers about the fees associated with this service. If you can only provide free shipping within a certain geographical area or after a certain transaction cost is reached, be transparent and tell customers beforehand to avoid abandoned carts.
Retail customer experience doesn’t start with marketing and end after making a sale. It extends to after-sales support and beyond, including the in-betweens of a customer journey.
Businesses can learn a thing or two from the retail giant Amazon’s CX strategies and practices. Being a customer-centric organization, Amazon is able to consistently deliver one of the best retail customer experiences while continuing to improve its services to ensure evolving customer expectations are met.
Before aiming to match Amazon’s CX, you must first learn more about your customers. This can be done through a number of SeeLevel HX solutions, including social media monitoring, mystery shopping, competitive intelligence, mobile app testing and more. We can help your organization identify the customer experience elements your team is doing really well with and those that need improvement.