Traditionally, customer satisfaction is driven by product availability and the ability of the staff to assist the shopper and complete the transaction. This model today is being broken by the modern consumer who is playing by different rules.
In a recent New York Times article on younger shoppers who prefer technology to staff assistance, retailers like Nordstrom are discovering that customers are using mobile applications not just in remote locations, but right in the store requiring them to improve their store’s Wi-Fi experience.
My Cisco IBSG colleagues’ recent blogs “When a Blink of an Eye is Too Slow” by Jon Stine and “Catch Em and Keep Em” consumer research by Lisa Fretwell show that modern consumers are not wedded to a store but are hopping from one channel to another including mobile as a part of the shopping journey.
In Brett King’s book Bank 2.0 on the future of financial services, 50% of iPhone users have used mobile banking in the past 30 days (Javelin Strategy) and the phone will become a major access point for consumers to access their financial transactions.
What does this all mean for businesses that serve customers in branches such as retail stores, banks, brokerages, and insurance agents? It means that customer experiences in branches no longer start when they walk in the door and get greeted by an employee. It now means that customer experiences may start with the availability of Wi-Fi and easy access to mobile applications and mobile-enabled web pages when they pull out their smart phone or tablet .
In retail it means a shopper may choose to investigate options on a matching tie while waiting in line to pay for a shirt.
In financial services it may mean that consumers do their research online or handle routine transactions while they are waiting to speak to a specialist on estate planning.
Bottom line, the experience in your branch is no longer just physical, it also includes the mobile experience.
Are you ready for it?