Compared to other industries, UK retailers significantly increased NPS between 2019 and 2023. Here’s how.
Retailers: In case you haven’t heard it today, you’re doing a good job.
In an industrywide study of CX performance in the UK in 2023, on average, retailers earned an NPS of 26. That’s nearly 10 points higher than the sector earned in 2019, and 13 points higher than the average NPS for UK brands across industries.
We know earning customer love was a hard-fought battle. Consumer expectations and shopping behaviors changed dramatically over the past few years – and show no signs of slowing down. Competition is ultracompetitive, and most retailers had to navigate operational challenges and wobbly macroeconomic landscapes.
So, how did they do it? Through customer experience (CX) strategy.
How Retailers Drove NPS Growth
Retailers increased NPS and earned customer loyalty in recent years by enhancing CX. Specifically, they:
1. Leaned into digital transformation.
Even tenured retailers started thinking and acting like digital natives. They prioritized technology initiatives to create seamless shopping journeys – and pushed the possibilities of “omnichannel.”
2. Targeted valuable customers.
Instead of speaking to the masses, leading retailers focused on high-value customers. They built intimacy, advocacy, and “stickiness” with clearly defined customer segments based on elements of value (including lifetime value), rather than being “everything to everyone.”
3. Applied data.
The leaders used data to make customers feel valued and understood. They combined data from multiple sources (e.g., customer profiles + shopping behaviors) to develop tailored promotions and drive commercial decisions about assortment, pricing, supplier management, and sustainability.
4. Simplified interactions.
Retailers also minimized or automated interactions to make shopping smoother and faster for customers. They removed unnecessary interactions and introduced self-service mechanisms to offer round-the-clock service and reduce wait times.
5. Communicated well.
Leaders kept customers in the loop about their orders to reduce frustration. They simplified processes, presented information clearly, and closed gaps along the customer journey. They also made it easier for customers to compare products and understand features, which made shopping more satisfying and increased consumers’ confidence in their decisions.
6. Anticipated customer needs.
Retailers with high NPS predicted customer needs and offered proactive support, such as advice, product and service recommendations, and offers. They also predicted potential issues and took actions to minimize or prevent poor experiences.
7. Solved problems efficiently.
At leading retailers, customer service agents were equipped with tools and information to resolve issues, reduce wait times, and personalize their interactions with customers.
Each of these strategies has something in common. They use customer data, analytics, and feedback platforms to enhance CX online and offline. E-commerce permanently changed how customers shop — and set off a cycle of ongoing disruption.
As the consumer journey changes, it will become even more difficult to deliver personalized, on-demand services in a consistent way across every touchpoint. Retailers must invest in the right technologies now to adapt to new consumer expectations.
So, How Can Retailers Keep Earning Loyalty?
COVID-19, social distancing and work-from-home arrangements accelerated digital trends, including for CX. It’s challenging to gain loyalty among digital-first, on-demand customers – and nearly impossible without customer-focused technology. We are in a new wave of CX that requires predictive capabilities, deep segmentation and personalization skills, and new disciplines in data and lifecycle management.
Remember, there’s a tangible payoff for your efforts.
Customer satisfaction isn’t just “nice to have.” According to Bain research, retailers that invest more in technology to improve CX are 17% more likely to outperform other retailers in organic sales growth. And they earn about 37% more sales from digital channels.
Need help getting started? We can help you prioritize investments and find opportunities to earn and retain valuable customers. With a roadmap for CX, you can understand what your CX capabilities are today, and how to build on them to drive grow in NPS and deliver winning customer experiences.