Secteur Customer Relations Eurogroup Consulting
Are customers – who are such a priority for companies because they are key to developing turnover – still as mysterious as they may seem? What are their expectations? How do they behave when purchasing?
Big data: an amazing opportunity, but one that needs to be handled accurately
Yes, the final answer seems to be big data! Customer data is a precious asset for companies. Skilfully managed, mined and analysed, it can be used to identify the levers that must be used to increase appeal and enhance customer loyalty. Big data can especially be used to conduct formerly impossible analyses and find unexpected correlations. However, we would repeat that this data, which is generated in increasing volumes, needs to be skilfully managed. This raises questions of how it should be stored, updated and analysed, and so ultimately the problem of who will be able to manage it. Should it be done internally – requiring infrastructure and new skills – or outsourced, contracted? If the latter, then at what cost and taking what risks while managing related hazards?
Customer relations excellence is the keystone
Today, using available data, the task is to find an answer in terms of offers and services, and provide an extraordinary customer experience via a physical channel (retail stores), a web channel (e-commerce) and a combination of both. Here, the term ‘omnichannel’ takes on all its meaning. It is a core concern for retailing companies: how can they create a customer itinerary that incorporates this new dimension? How can they appeal to customers through the web channel (with new web-marketing techniques: SEM, SEO, analytics, etc.) without neglecting the in-store experience, which also needs to be revitalised? On this last point, the role of store sales assistants is decisive: without greater service quality, there will be no point going to the store!
Sales assistants: a population to be ‘pampered’ and motivated
Sales assistants actually control 2 of the business’s 3 key indicators.
Firstly, transformation rate: for a given volume of prospects, the sales assistant’s role is to ensure that as many as possible become customers and so leave having paid for a product/service.
Secondly, the shopping basket, which can boost additional sales: for a volume of customers, the assistant must suggest further purchase opportunities consistent with the customers’ needs. For instance, when a customer buys trousers, the assistant can suggest a belt, socks, a shirt, etc.
So it is essential that sales assistants should be competent in terms of basic supply (offer/service) and interpersonal relations, but they must also be led, mobilized and motivated by their managers if they are to maintain their ‘excellence’. The ‘excel 100% of the time’ requirement probably implies a cultural and managerial revolution for many players in retailing.
The organization responsible for the customers
The final indicator is, as always, appeal. This is the result of the work done by the communication/customer/marketing departments to generate traffic at their points of sale and/or e-commerce site. Organizational issues are involved, especially customer management, because each department sees itself as key to the problem. Customer departments are increasingly being structured to encompass customer knowledge, sales-channel interaction, etc. – an exciting project to plan, facilitate and develop.
L'offre Eurogroup Consulting - Customer Relations Eurogroup Consulting
Developing a customer relations strategy
- According to the business model of the company, existing customer strategy should be reviewed to ensure strategic alignment and the compatibility of value and income generated. The next task is to identify customer target populations, the customer promise and loyalty-enhancement policy, and, obviously, roll this out operationally (in customer itineraries, organizations, etc.).
Creating efficient customer itineraries
- Too many organizations are still autocentric. Constructing customer itineraries means adopting a simple approach that involves stepping into the customer’s shoes (this is obvious when you think about it, but very much a Copernican revolution for some) and reviewing all the relevant processes. It also provides an opportunity to optimise these processes. Finally, rapid, radical change makes it vital to ensure that itineraries are always appropriate and optimised. If not, the customer’s reaction is a foregone conclusion: disaffection.
Making your organization more customer-oriented
- Turning an autocentric, compartmentalised organization into a ‘customer-centric’ one is a tortuous process beset with dangers. Indeed, starting from the initial ambition / customer promise, the aim is to identify all the resulting tasks that the organization must perform, structuring modes of operation, roles and responsibilities, and decision-making bodies.