In a recent panel talk at the ICX Summit in Dallas, vice-president of Pizza Hut International, Rohit Kapoor, shared his strategies and insights on the mobile customer experience, and how it can create a better experience for their regular customers, as well as giving new customers a great first impression.
Customers are the driving force in the retail industry
Contrary to what many companies believe, the driving force in mobile retail is not the company themselves, rather it is the customer who uses their mobile that drives the experience. Mobile app customers are consistently proving to be more loyal than general mobile customers and other customers in general, and this makes for a powerful trend for the businesses who have mobile apps. Mobile use is increasing exponentially, and the usability studies that are available for businesses show that many companies with mobile apps are at a turning point in their customer-driven future.
Customer experience should be the same across all channels
One thing to remember, according to Kapoor, is that customer experience will never exceed employee experience. Without the employee having the best employee experience when dealing with customers, they are not going to be able to provide the best customer experience for their customers. On the panel of the Dallas Summit was another experienced vice-president, Ken Moy, from Subway. As one of the first to introduce mobile apps for ordering and payment in 2015, Subway invested heavily in the use of Apple Pay as their main payment option. Moy reiterated that the initial mobile app they used was all about the functionality, and was intended to provide the customer with a seamless mobile ordering and payment service. They have now launched a new version of their app, which has been built after years of study into how customers interact with the mobile app and the company as a whole. They used their research to understand what parts of the customer experience their customers were least happy with, noting them as their “pain points”.
Moy reiterated that the initial mobile app they used was all about the functionality, and was intended to provide the customer with a seamless mobile ordering and payment service. They have now launched a new version of their app, which has been built after years of study into how customers interact with the mobile app and the company as a whole. They used their research to understand what parts of the customer experience their customers were least happy with, noting them as their “pain points”.
They have now introduced a new app that adds coupons and rewards to users, something which has been a trend in mobile shopping experiences for the last two years. These mobile strategies are all designed to meet and exceed customer expectations, both online and in store. And in that way, the innovations in mobile technology are having a direct impact on the customer experience outside the company’s own app. The main objective in retail today is to make the physical experience as good as the online experience, and mobile innovations have a direct impact on how the customer experience is viewed outside the app.
Mobile innovation needs to be fully integrated
Incorporating that mobile innovation and integrating it with excellent customer strategies, however, is not as easy at it may appear. Transforming your business to utilize the app experience is hard, and is not just about the I.T. side of things. It also incorporates the use of Human Resources, new business models, and reshaping the company to evolve with the current market at any given time. As customer expectations change, so the company needs to adapt how they do business to meet the customer’s needs.
In this respect, the mobile experience needs to be complimented by the other digital experiences, as well as the physical experience, and vice versa in all aspects. Each should directly compliment all the others seamlessly. The challenge here, in most companies, is to provide that seamless experience across all mediums and tailor it to be specific to the company at hand. One company’s customer experience can be drastically different from that of another company, although the main aim is to keep the overall experience in any given field as common as possible, improving only on the added value that each company gives to their individual customers in order to retain them as loyal customers.
Incompatible systems cause poor experiences
Another issue that retailers and restaurants face in the industry is having long-term technology systems that are inflexible, and do not make it easy to cross-connect the customer experience on all channels. One example would be where a retailer has an amazing website, but one which does not translate into a mobile version very easily. This would not produce a good cross-channel customer experience, and it is a widely known fact that customers like to change their purchasing channel several times in the modern customer buying experience. The key to this is how to integrate modern technology with legacy systems, to give their customers what they want.
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