How to Leverage Technology for a Better Retail and Hospitality Customer Experience
Customer experience in the digital age is constantly evolving as new technologies and trends continue to emerge. Forward thinking companies are embracing this new approach to customer service across all levels of the organization with the understanding that a focus on delivering a superior customer experience across all channels, devices and touchpoints will drive business growth and revenue in the future.
For retail and hospitality companies, the customer experience is particularly important. Ensuring a delightful experience for a consumer or a guest has always been the backbone of these industries, but the digital revolution that has rewritten the customer service rules has also created a great deal of consumer demand for a plethora of new capabilities that are not just desired, but expected.
When it comes to providing a superior customer experience for retail and hospitality customers, embracing digital and optimizing new technology as it comes is absolutely imperative. Empowering employees and associates with the knowledge and support necessary to utilize these new technologies is part of that. To stay ahead of the competition now and in the coming years, retail and hospitality companies should utilize technologies that satisfy customer demand for top tier security and privacy protection, deliver a more personalized experience and boost consumer empowerment.
Here are the top technology trends to watch for customer experience:
Harnessing customer information allows companies to create relevant, targeted and memorable promotions that boost customer engagement and foster loyalty. 50% of retailers rank personalization among the top 3 reasons for using big data. 53% of restaurateurs align their technology strategies to create better customer engagement and guest loyalty.
Omnichannel capabilities allow store, hotel and restaurant guests more ways to engage — from home, on the go, or in person — providing a holistic experience for their digitally empowered guests. 80% of consumers research a product online using their PC before making a purchase.
3. Mobile Payments
Mobile technology including POS, touchscreen kiosks, tablets, self- checkout options all give associates more one-on-one time to personalize guest’s experiences. Over 70% of retailers have deployed mobile POS units. 20% of hoteliers plan to add front desk tablets in the next 18 months to enhance mobile engagement for guests.
4. Data Security
Data breaches and new counterfeit transaction liability rules coming in 2015, have companies looking to improve data security including upgrading systems to support EMV technologies (the global standard for secure chip card transactions). 77% of CIOs ranked “Strengthen our monitoring and security to protect customer credit card and personal data” as one of the 3 top business priorities in 2015. Only 25% of restaurants say they won’t be ready when the October 2015 liability shift takes place.
5. Mobile ‘Connected Guest’ Experience
Connecting guests’ mobile devices through Bluetooth®, Smart and Wi-Fi location awareness technologies can provide a more streamlined and personalized experience. 69% of consumers expect store associates to carry a mobile device to perform tasks such as checking item information and inventory. Meanwhile, 37% of restaurants plan to offer mobile wallet to guests as a payment option.
6. Employees as Customer Experience Ambassadors
To create more loyal customers, companies are turning to their workforce to help re-imagine shops, hotels and restaurants as omnichannel destinations providing personalized customer service and memorable experiences. Retail companies describe their associates as a “competitive advantage” and understand that “happy associates = satisfied customers”. So get them on board and up to speed with the latest in customer experience technology to deliver the best possible experience to your guests and customers.
Retail and hospitality companies must invest in creating a customer experience-centric culture that embraces and takes advantage of emerging technologies and technology trends in order to succeed now and in the future. Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below.
To learn more and read additional stats, visit the Retail & Hospitality Infographic: http://www.cgsinc.com/en/resources/how-improve-retail-hospitality-customer-experience