(This post is co-authored by Emily Mui.)
Customer experience management is an integral part of creating wonderful memories. In order to provide an optimal CX, retailers are changing their traditional pace of planning to be more agile and data driven, especially during peak seasons.
This means connecting demand and supply chain and integrating ‘X data’ with ‘O data’ with actionable insights to intercept any disruptions in the customer experience, thereby enabling every part of the business to serve and retain their customer.
But how can companies do this?
X and O: Customer experience management for the modern age
In the experience economy, consumers have high expectations about how they engage with organizations, and expect personalized and relevant across all interactions. These expectations increase during periods of high demand, and mandates that companies meet their needs and desires, or risk losing consumers to the competition.
Some marketers have AI and analytics powered solutions available at their disposal. These functionalities facilitate true data-driven decisions, enabling them to separate their customers into distinct personas and understand exactly what motivates them.
However, for such customer experience management solutions to be effective, they need to bring together data from across different systems – some systems that are old and outdated, and some that are in the cloud. In many cases, data from their partners and vendors is crucial. According to a report by Bain and Company, marketing leaders in North America are more likely than laggards to prioritize having an integrated platform, and also have a stronger understanding of how to deploy their technology.
Not only is it important to integrate marketing data, business must also integrate the X and O data to avoid costly mistakes. The worst possible scenario during peak seasons is to run out of popular or promoted items while having surplus quantities of others, as both scenarios lead to bad customer experiences.
Best Buy famously received overwhelmingly negative feedback from customers in 2011 when they sent out emails to customers days before Christmas, telling them they couldn’t fill the orders which had been placed weeks earlier, thereby harming their brand. There are plenty of other examples like this where business have failed to manage their inventory or have misalignment between demand and supply, leading to unpleasant experiences.
O no! Talent management falters without operational data
The importance of operation data (“O data”) integration for talent management – especially during busy seasons – cannot be understated. Organizations are increasingly struggling with finding quality candidates to fill positions, from the warehouse floor to the highest levels of supply chain management.
This pain is even more acute during the holiday season when organizations try to fill warehouse jobs to meet peak seasonal demands. Although the need to increase the supply of talent can’t be ignored, there is also an opportunity to better manage demand by optimizing processes across the supply chain. Whether in the warehouse or on the road, it has never been more critical to find ways to meet demand without overtaxing human resources in order to provide exceptional customer experience.
In the “me to you” world, the entire supply chain needs to be connected to ensure a consistent and exceptional customer experience.
By connecting promotion and inventory management on one platform, you will gain real-time inventory updates, automatic replenishment of stock, and the functionality to manage inventory availability with your customer by suggesting alternate offerings when inventory drops below a specified level. In-store sales associates can access an app on their smart tablets to see the information they need to respond quickly. Such scenarios offer businesses an opportunity to deliver a consistent experience to their customers.
Point CRM solutions – whether legacy or SaaS – cannot connect the entire supply chain so companies are turning to cloud platforms to bring their data together and process integration, while also making it easier to build new functionality to support growing customer and employee needs.
The future of customer experience management lies in this realm, and those that are remiss in not recognizing it will lose customers and marketshare.
Ready to connect all of your data to provide an optimal customer experience? Download the free report to get started here.