Project Description

Increasing challenges to the relationship management of the retail

Building a successful relationship to a customer is nowadays especially for the trade a major challenge. Minor differences in price and similarly perceived product quality make it hard to differentiate from the competition. The personal contact to the customer is rare at this time. The retail needs to find new ways to inspire the customers and to enter into a dialogue in order to build a proactive customer relationship.
As a part of digitizing, an intensive customer relationship is even more crucial. Customers are using the given possibilities to compare proposals and to identify saving advantages. They compare and purchase deals not only in the store, through the increasing use of smartphones and tablets they do it most likely over the internet. Meanwhile it is a comfortable and daily routine for the customer, but for the retail a threatening development.

The retail needs to give the customer some impulsion to buy locally and to keep up the customer relationship. A well extending shopping experience is ultimately the deciding factor whether a customer buys again or not. If this is not given, the customer has to decide whether he will change the provider or if he is willing to give suggestions, requests and complaints so the provider has the chance to make amends.  The possibility of an active dialogue is one of the most important factors to affect the loyalty of customers. Companies that use this opportunity to redress will secure the loyalty of their customers over a long-term.

10,6 % of customers complain on the market accordingly to statistics of the German customer monitor. This means already every tenth customer wants to inform the company about his opinion. A need which accommodates each entrepreneur, because every complaint contains valuable information that can be used to optimize the own offer.

Digital communication overcomes classical barriers complaints

According to an analysis of BHM & COMPANY with the University of Hohenheim (cf. Bruhn,M.; Service Management and Social Media) are 10,6 % of moaning customers only the tip of the iceberg. A lot more customers would engage in dialogue with companies, as long as complaint barriers do not prevent this. Especially a complicated transmission or unsatisfactory handling of the complaint will be referred as a criterion. It is necessary to provide the customer with a communication channel which ensures that his complain can be formulated simply, is forwarded to the right person and processed promptly by this.

Modern communication technology has established itself in overcoming barrier complaints. Particularly the trend BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) helps companies to capture customer complaints digitally and in an easy, quick and at the same time cost effective process. The opportunities for customers to formulate needs, to require a confirmation or even complaining anonymously, help the trade to intensify lost customer contact again. At the same time there is a quick response on interests or customer request through the right process.

Economic success through customer dialogue and special experiences

BHMCO_Future_Store_SPARVarious projects of BHM & COMPANY show that a significant number of daily customer contacts can be achieved commercially- complaints as well as praise or suggestions. The fact that customers get feedback from companies and they realize that their complaints have been taken seriously has a strong influence on the shopping experience of them.  Moreover, it is ten times more expensive to win a new customer than to keep an existing customer. Is there a daily chance to hold only one customer of a provider change or to secure his loyalty is this equivalent to an economic value of up to 80 kEUR (Ø customer lifetime value per customer within the trade). Avoiding reputational damage through word of mouth recommendation or social media is also crucial for future sales. The digital dialogue with customers opens up the trade therefore to correct not only the possibility of problems immediately, but directly to benefit commercially.

Proactive customer management at SPAR with an example of iFeedback®

The innovative app iFeedback® represents a corresponding mobile complaint channel. iFeedback® allows a quick and easy communication with the company in use at SPAR in Austria. The app, configured to the individual wishes of SPAR, can be used without a previous download with any internet-enabled device or registration by the customer.

Customers only need to scan the QR-code on the marketing materials. This leads him directly on to a questionnaire or feedback form. Based on the size of the site, it is either called in a short and concise or a long and detailed version. Furthermore, both versions include a contact form which is called in the dispatch of the feedback. It allows the customer to leave personal data and to identify the “Confirmation by the service team” option for a personal interview as needed. Every given feedback is relayed in real time to the responsible manager. Every store manager will also receive access to the reports of customer feedback according to its position in the organizational structure. It ensures that those who are responsible will only receive the information relevant to them and thus respond faster.

The integration of the complaint channel enables SPAR to obtain valuable customer information and thus promptly perform optimizations. In this way, SPAR is on one hand able to offer its customers a unique shopping experience and, secondly, in the position to strengthen the customer relationship. Moreover, the detailed real-time reports offer SPAR the opportunity to compare the customer satisfaction at the locations or at the regional level and to optimize over time.

Customer benefit from conceptual and operational support

We support our clients from the analysis to the implementation in order to integrate digital communication to companies successfully. An abstract of our services in projects with the trade can be found at a glance:

  • Creation of a communication concept to simulate feedback and customer activation
  • Conceptual development of questionnaires and contact forms
  • Implementation of processes for complaint handling
  • Interpretation of results and derivation of optimization potentials
  • Delivery and implementation of the iFeedback® software