The August bank holiday is gone. Summer is over and now we’re coasting to the end of another year. But for a retailer this is the build up to the golden quarter that most likely began once the last one ended in January or February. The run-up to Christmas and the New Year is when the tills really start ringing!
But this period of the year should not only be about sales alone. The year on year growth in online sales means that the customer journey is evolving. You need to be prepared, you need to be thinking about how to optimise that journey for a number of reasons:
With all that extra business there is a great opportunity, but also danger. If you are still not getting the customer journey right then your customers are telling their friends – and they are telling their friends. Review sites, customer forums, social networks – they are all where customers are talking about your brand and products right now.
If you get the customer journey wrong then it will not just dampen sales this quarter, it can have long-lasting consequences. Customers will defect, and will publish their experience ensuring that future searches for information about your brand find those stories. It is a time to win new advocates, reward loyalty and establish long standing relationships.
The trick is to think about the customer journey and to be where they are today. Not where they used to be or where you hope they will be, or where an industry guru says they will be in the future – find where your customers are right now and focus on delivering this generation customer service.
Be where your customers are. The companies that get this right will be increasingly profitable.
Photo by Walmart licensed under Creative Commons