Technological innovation lies at the heart of companies’ strategy to build an optimal customer relationship. How are companies leveraging new technologies to adapt to their customers and their new consumption behaviours?
Quality is a key concern for companies in their Customer Relationship strategy. They want to satisfy their customers as best as possible. To achieve this, they rely on a host of levers, two of which are essential: adaptation, and transparency vis-à-vis their customers.
Innovations are released at an ever more rapid pace, one chasing the other. So, let’s take a moment to look at some of the innovations that enhance Customer Relationship.
French start-up Pointy has developed a search engine for physical retail
When you are looking for an unusual product and have no idea where to buy it, what is your first reflex? You type the product’s name in your search engine. Lo and behold, several websites sell it, and you purchase it online.
What if you could do the same with physical stores? This is exactly what Pointy has developed. This search engine is connected to an extensive database, enabling the platform to look for the desired product on Google within a specific geographic range, and points you in the direction of a local store that sells the product. Voilà! For the moment, 1,500 stores have put their products online in the United States and Ireland. It will be interesting to see how this evolves in terms of customer experience (See our article Enriching customer experience).
Web-to-store brings quality to omni-channel Customer Relationship
“Web-to-store” has already been around for a couple of years. How does it work? It facilitates the path to purchase by offering customers the possibility to purchase a product online and collect it in a physical store. This phenomenon is referred to as ‘phygital’, i.e., blending the physical and digital to create an ecosystem between the brand and consumers.
By contrast, there is also the “store-to-web”. Have you ever heard of this? Let’s take the example of Sézanne, a ready-to-wear fashion brand. After ten years of selling exclusively online, the founder decided to open an ‘apartment’ in the heart of Paris. It is a showroom, where customers can try on clothes before buying them. However, none of the garments on display are available for in-store purchase. Customers can use tablets provided in the store, and the products are then delivered directly to the customer’s doorstep. This is an ingenious way to reduce inventory and limit stock shortages, while at the same time enhancing the satisfaction of customers who buy online.
Among the many benefits of these web-to-store and store-to-web trends, I would insist on the complementarity of the different points of contact that constantly reinvent themselves.
Digitalized Customer Relationship Management
9 out of 10 consumers expect extended customer service hours and multiple points of contact. However, traditional channels are still preferred, and social networks are struggling to establish their place. And yet, digital transformation is a genuine modernization challenge for companies. So, keep in mind that digital innovations are a wonderful opportunity to enhance your Customer Relationship. For example, think about
- Synchronizing your CRM software with your social network accounts
- Leveraging data from AI to enrich your customer knowledge.
Of course, this article only covers a very small part of the many technological innovations which can enhance customer experience and satisfaction. The possibilities are endless! And who knows, we might even cover other innovations in future articles… ? In the meantime, I am still convinced that a good Customer Relationship depends, first and foremost, on the quality of the human relationship. What do you think?