After just returning from the #ALSD2013 annual conference, I wanted to provide our point-of-view on one of the trends discussed, that being how Service is the Customer Experience. While we may be getting granular, we think that this definition is holding back the sports industry from really engaging with the customer on a personal, more intimate level.
There is no question that people, whether working with or tapping into technology, drive the Customer Experience. But Service should not be your employee’s point of engagement with your customers. Is basic operational performance considered Service? Is excellent operational performance considered Service? Clearly, these are 2 different things, but does it matter from a strategic perspective?
Service is one component that typically becomes relevant when the Experience is not living up to expectations. We believe this is fundamentally true because Service by its nature tends to be responsive. We must wait for the customer to take action first before we can act, thus Service for the most part is REACTIVE. So is the difference between basic and excellent service a matter of speed and accuracy of fulfilling the customer’s request? For us, this is not enough.
The future of delivering an Awesome Customer Experience is grounded in ultimately knowing the individual customer (singular), and what each customer wants and desires. When we begin to understand the wants, needs, and desires of individual customers, we can begin to anticipate and become PROACTIVE in our engagement.
In order to know what our customers want, we typically deploy 2 methods of understanding: 1. Ask the customer what they want (qualitative), 2. Know what action the customer takes (behavioral). The best picture deploys both methods. Without this knowledge, we cannot become proactive in our customer engagement.
Fundamental to behavioral understanding is a deep and robust insight into what the customer has purchased in the past. This customer-centered purchase data provides visibility and understanding about customer action and provides a platform for real-time, proactive engagement.
IMS is a technology services company that has been serving the Retail Industry for over 25 years. While we specialize in serving small/medium businesses, we have also completed projects on some of the world’s biggest stages. We help businesses efficiently manage operations by improving processes, implementing unique and comprehensive integrations, and providing additional sources of data intelligence. We believe that by providing businesses with the tools, technology and insights needed to gather and analyze their data more effectively, we can help them create a competitive advantage.