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November 2013

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Two New Studies Point to Direction of Retailers’ CX Initiatives

As new technologies continue to revolutionize customer interactions, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Oracle have issued a new report detailing current retail practices—and offering a series of recommendations for the most-successful retail customer experience (CX) strategies.

"Rapidly evolving buying behavior, mobile and tablet technology, the abundance of big data about customers—these are just some of the key factors that are driving retailers to revisit their customer experience strategies," says Andrea Morgan-Vandome, vice president, Retail Strategy and Solution Marketing, Oracle.

The report, “The Evolution of an Era: Customer Experience in Retail,” draws on retail results from two independent CX studies, including an Oracle-led study of more than 1,300 customer-facing executives across 18 countries, and a similar CX study by TCS involving 219 executives.

The Path to Optimal Customer Experience
By identifying commonalities in both surveys, the authors of the report offer the following key recommendations.

  • Provide contextual experiences. Increasingly, the context of an interaction is becoming important, including the customer's location, what they are shopping for, the device they are using, recent events, etc. "Use formal planning techniques to understand how context changes your CX strategy," the report's authors write.

  • Build a unified view across channels. The best insights come from a unified view of the customer across all customer touch points as well as the entire organization. "This is critical to not only get a complete picture of customer behavior, but to also coordinate the organization to act in concert toward the CX strategy," write the report's authors.

  • Deliver personalized experiences. Evidence shows that personalization captures more revenue and drives better experiences. "Adopt the latest personalization processes and technologies to make it real within live customer interactions," the authors note.

  • Master customer analytics. The types and quantities of data available are exploding, and so are the tools and techniques to analyze that data. "Leverage new sources of data, including unstructured data, to discover new customer insights like never before," the authors recommend.

  • Prioritize people, training, and knowledge management. "Front-line personnel are often the most important people in delivering the customer experience," the authors write. "Invest in making sure that they understand the implications of a great customer experience and that they have the tools and knowledge to act."

  • Leverage the right tools and technology. A CX platform should encompass marketing, commerce, sales, service, and social. "Best-in-class, easily integrated CX platforms essentially create the foundation for all CX capabilities. The quality and performance of the CX strategy will be heavily dependent on how well the capabilities are implemented into the operations," the authors write.
Read the TCS and Oracle Retail CX survey report, "The Evolution of an Era: Customer Experience in Retail" now.
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