The Importance of a Consistent Customer Experience

Consistency in Retail

Let’s talk about consistency: Consistency means having conformity and harmony of conduct in the way an action is carried out, over a period of time. 

In relation to the retail industry, having a consistent brand image that is developed through dependable products and services, regularly attentive staff, and constantly engaged customers, ensures a long-lasting and credible brand image. 

Consistency throughout a retail enterprise can be developed internally through operations and externally through customer satisfaction during in-store and online shopping experiences. Maintaining internal consistency through operations ensures the retailer is producing quality goods and services, and using their resources in an efficient manner. However, to benefit from consistent and efficient internal processes, the customer must enjoy each transaction they have with the retailer, thus leading to return purchases, brand loyalty, and positive word-of-mouth.

What is Customer Satisfaction?

Customer satisfaction can be defined as the degree of contentment consumers experience after purchasing a product or service from a brand. But it is important to remember that a positive shopping experience is achieved both before and after a single purchase is made. 

When it comes to the retail industry, having consistency throughout internal operations, such as: manufacturing; quality control; inventory management; and employee retention; allows for smooth production and execution of sales. Once internal operations are being processed in a consistently efficient  manner, customers can become more satisfied with their shopping experience. 

Let’s dive a little deeper into the importance of cultivating a consistent shopping experience for your consumers, through both in-store and online retailing.

Why is a Consistent Customer Shopping Experience Important?

1. First impressions set the tone for all future transactions

When a customer first walks into a store or browses your online shopping platform, their primary impressions must cultivate a desire to make return purchases. When a customer is treated with care and attentiveness, they are more likely to have reduced consumer dissonance and therefore make return purchases. Consistency will ensure that each new customer visiting, calling, or browsing your retail enterprise, will receive a positive first impression, making them more likely to choose your brand over others for subsequent purchases.

2. Coherent customer service across all channels

Customer service representatives are the face of your brand, being the frontline individuals who interact with your acquired and potential customers. 89% of consumers report that they are more likely to choose a retailer over and over again if their shopping experience was positive. However, if your sales representatives are causing inconsistencies in consumer shopping experiences, the chance of turning customers into loyal brand supporters diminishes. When a consumer visits your store online or in person, it is crucial that every customer service representative or sales associate provides the same high-level shopping experience, ensuring that each customer will be treated the same every time they come in.

3. Building brand credibility and reliability

When consumers are exposed to consistently positive shopping experiences with a brand, the retailer is able to develop a trustworthy reputation. Consumers become more likely to choose the retailer, knowing that the offered products, services, and customer support will meet their set expectations and satisfy their consumer needs. As the brand builds stronger relationships with existing customers, positive word-of-mouth will spread to prospective consumers, and thus a credible and reliable brand image will emerge.

4. Improving customer loyalty

We’ve mentioned customer brand loyalty several times above, but why is it so important and why do retailers chase it? First, brand loyalty is the making of repeat purchases by consumers who perceive a particular retailer as offering higher quality goods and/or services. Retailers having greater brand loyalty are able to grow their revenue 2.5 times faster than market competitors, and having loyal customers contribute to 65% of a company’s entire revenue. Especially in the fast-paced retail industry, where new competitors are constantly emerging, a solid customer base will allow companies to operate on sustainable growth. Relating back to the consistent customer shopping experience, consumers are more likely to remain loyal to a brand that effectively satisfies their wants each time a transaction is made, without wasting precious time on malfunctioning products or disappointing services.

Understanding Customer Needs

The best way to achieve consistent customer satisfaction is by understanding your consumers of course. Having proper analytical tools to make data-informed decisions will allow you, the retailer, to accurately meet frequently changing customer needs and gain comprehensive knowledge of how to achieve these changing needs.

Retailers now commonly operate through omnichannel retailing, where customer engagement occurs through multiple physical and virtual touchpoints. However, the siloed and unconnected systems that omnichannel retailing operates on, make customer and sales data harder to synthesize and evaluate. When working with disparate systems, you risk data inaccuracy and thus it becomes more challenging to have a well-integrated view of how well or poorly the company is operating.

An alternative strategy making its way into the retail industry is unified commerce. With unified commerce, the retailer is able to connect any backend systems with the consumer-facing channels through a single communication platform. This means as the retailer, you will benefit from streamlined customer data, helping you make efficient and effective operational decisions based on market demands.

Through unified commerce, achieving consistent customer shopping experiences become attainable, as all collected data about potential and existing customers, products and services, and employee operations, will be available on a single platform. The overall benefit of unified commerce will result in efficient customer relationship management, point of sale (POS) system operations, and order fulfillment and inventory management. Collectively, consumers will benefit from more consistent shopping experiences and receive satisfaction from every transaction.

Having a fully integrated set of retail systems becomes crucial when developing a unified customer experience, as it fosters dependability which leads to increased sales and profits over time. If you’re a retailer already operating through cross-channel or omnichannel operations, the transitions to unified commerce may impose software re-integration challenges; where you will need help implementing changes within your business in order to maximize your efficiency by providing stellar customer experiences across channels. Book a call with RedIron today to start unifying your customer experience; You’ll be glad you took charge of the conversation! 

Any questions?
Get in touch