Competing on Service: How to Build Brand Advocates

October 25, 2017 Appirio

By Peter Mitchelmore, Senior Manager, Retail Go-To-Market, Salesforce

In today’s digital world, consumers have all the answers in the palm of their hand. With smartphones, these consumers have constant access to information, whether it’s price, promotion, or consumer reviews. Businesses can choose to participate in the race to the bottom, or they can choose to compete on the Customer Experience. Behind every great Customer Experience is an engaged employee. To deliver exceptional experiences, employees must be enabled and empowered to deliver differentiated customer service, while balancing operational excellence.

Mobile is transforming the way we work and live

Today’s consumer experience starts and ends on a mobile device. In 2016, 30 percent of online sales happened on smartphones, according to Forrester Research. Combine that with the fact that 60 percent of all digital traffic is from a mobile device, and it’s very apparent that mobile is transforming the way we live.

The worker-consumer experience gap

Although the retail experience has transformed, the employee experience is still lacking a simple and streamlined approach. Interestingly enough, 44 percent of consumers believe they know more about a brand than its store associates, and 83 percent of consumers believe online shopping provides more information than in-store staff. (Imagine being the employee.) But your employees want to provide customers with the best service —  65 percent of associates say they’d like to have a mobile device to use in-store.

According to the Time Trade 2017 State of Retail Report, when helped by a knowledgeable associate, 88 percent of customers are more likely to buy, with 47 percent of consumers requesting prompt service above smart recommendations, and 26 percent asking for personalized experiences. Furthermore, 57 percent of shoppers felt they received prompt, personal service when they knew that store associates were collaborating on mobile devices.

Elevate the worker and consumer experience

Consumers and employees alike want to collaborate with mobile devices for a better experience. By enabling, empowering, and engaging every employee with mobile, they have endless possibilities for onboarding and collaboration, including scheduling, task management, training, operational and IoT alerts, product knowledge, recognition and rewards, and more. Companies with engaged workers see 233 percent greater customer loyalty and a 26 percent greater annual increase in revenue, according to the Aberdeen Group’s “Employee Engagement: Paving the Way to Happy Customers.”

The Virtuous Cycle

Appirio realized that happy employees equals happy customers. Their goal was to improve worker and customer experiences, so they developed the Virtuous Cycle workforce model — built on the Salesforce Customer Success Platform — to address the new ways that people work.

The Virtuous Cycle workflow model creates an aware, satisfied, and amplified Customer Experience, through engaged, productive, agile employees. By eliminating barriers between workers and the info they need, providing a consumer-grade experience for your workforce, and knowing your customer needs before they do, employees can deliver the desired customer outcomes. This creates repeat and loyal customers who want to be associated with your brand, and advocate, sell, service, and innovate for you.

Learn how DineEquity — one of the largest full-service dining companies in the world — worked with Appirio and Salesforce to balance operational excellence and customer service, get the right info at the right time and accelerate productivity, and benefit from an insights-driven culture focused on innovation, to transform every employee into a brand advocate with the Competing on Service eBook.

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