How to retain and delight customers?

Sep 24, 2019, 19 views

In the last decades, as the digital boom has completely transformed the world, something extraordinary has happened: in the face of major brands, we have moved from a mere position of buyers to become process agents, who question, charge and want to have their wants met. In logistics, this result could be devastating, but it has emerged as a potential competitive advantage, in which it outperformed those who invested resources to offer a perfect delivery experience.

According to Joseph Pine and James Gilmore, market experts at Harvard University, we are experiencing the era of experiential economics, where a company stops offering only products or services and provides "memorable emotions for consumers in general." For them, this concept can be understood by the metaphor of making a birthday cake at four different times of humanity.

In the first, in the agrarian economy, birthday cakes were made from scratch, mixing agricultural commodities (flour, sugar, butter and eggs) that together cost mere dimes. Like the advanced commodity industrial economy, it was possible to pay a dollar or two to get a product from Betty Crocker, the famous American brand that sold a kind of instant cake mix. Later, when the service economy dawned, busy parents bought buns from the bakery or supermarket for $ 10 or $ 15, about ten times more than the packaged ingredients. Back in the 1990s, parents did not even make birthday cakes. Instead, they spent $ 100 or more to "outsource" the entire birthday party, creating a memorable event for the kids. This was the beginning of the emerging economy of experience.

Since then, this concept has been explored mainly by the tourism and entertainment industry, but it is also promising for many other market segments, including e-commerce and logistics.

"We are moving towards an economy of experience. Lately, in most places I speak, I always refer to Disney as the world's largest stage of experiences, "explains Joseph Pine in one of his classic TED Talks lectures.

The great secret of the economy of experience is authenticity. Instead of simply selling a product or service - in the case of Disney, a ride in the amusement park - the company excels by impeccable service and treats each visitor as a unique guest, using thematic resources, props and costumes to leave the visitors immersed in a magical universe.

Starbucks is also a classic example of a company that uses that potential. Stop to think: the flagship of the organization is the sale of cafes. They are just grains of roasted, ground and coffeed coffees, but the experience linked to the consumption of the beverage makes viable a business model that can charge much more than any neighborhood coffee shop - and there is a public for it. It's not just about the sale of coffee, it's about offering a cozy atmosphere with large comfortable chairs, free internet, callers by name and a versatile space that can be used for a meeting of friends or meetings of business.

Today's customers want more than just quality goods and services. They look for something engaging and positive experiences tied to products of excellence. This value refers to the benefits not only in what they buy, but also in the set of perceptions they construct when interacting with a company, from discovery to post-purchase.

Experience savings in the e-commerce delivery process

In e-commerce, companies have invested in unboxing experience to offer a memorable experience in the act of receiving the product. Custom letters, custom packaging, gifts and scented papers are among the most commonly used features in this strategy, however, having a true logistical experience falls well short of that.

Thousands of parcels are processed every day, with consumers eager to be surprised by a product ahead of time, intact and in line with their expectations of beauty and quality. For a large part of the market, unfortunately, the reality is the opposite: high freight rates, delivery delays, service difficulties, untrusted tracking information, fraud, malfunctions and even a complex return and exchange process appear on the list of obstacles to the conquest of loyal customers.

To overcome these challenges, industry conglomerates have invested in technologies such as freight trucks and drones to find more effective ways to deliver remittances. By contrast, non-giants still skim on strategies to reduce operating costs and improve operations efficiency.

As a way out of this scenario, a few simple steps can help turn logistics into a competitive edge and offer a good customer experience.

1- Do not depend only on a carrier

Dependence on a single logistics option leaves shopkeepers at the mercy of strikes, delays in delivery, discontinuation of services, among other factors. This reality directly impacts the quality of the service provided, causing more time and money spent.

2- Monitor the performance of carriers

Monitor the SLA by carrier and destination region, seeking to understand in depth the reasons for the delays. This analysis can provide inputs to adjust deadlines and even eliminate carriers in regions that are not performing well. In addition, ensure that the contract contemplates the level of service expected and what happens in case of non-compliance.

3- Offer more affordable prices with differentiated delivery options

The consumer wants to have autonomy in the buying process and this includes the logistics choice. Therefore, guarantee different price options and deadlines, such as same day delivery, fast delivery, economical and even, if necessary, the possibility to buy online and withdraw in the physical store.

4- Pay attention to details

Be sure to collect the correct information from your recipient, including reference point and cell phone number to avoid frustrated deliveries by account not located address. Attention with delivery should be even greater in cases of rural areas and areas at risk. Remember: the consumer has paid for the item and wants to receive it at home.

5- Have your tracking updated

Ensure that tracking of your orders is always up to date and shows the expected delivery date correctly to avoid missing recipients or inflate your relationship team contacts. There are companies that send SMS to the recipient stating the main steps of the order, which reduces the anxiety factor and leaves you with the feeling of being a partner in the delivery process.

6- Prevent occurrences

Problems will inevitably happen, the key point is to anticipate them before your client contacts you. Therefore, invest in resources that allow you to know clearly when deliveries will reach the recipient or when they will delay to make quick decisions and communicate the time in the consumer.

Solve your client's pain

The search for a competitive differential often does not have to take very far, just observe successful examples in the market. One such case is Domino's Pizza. The company realized that the pain of its consumers was not in the fact that they do not have pizza, but in not knowing when the pizza would arrive after a request made. By focusing its efforts on addressing this pain with an online ordering system that says exactly when the pizza is in the oven and on the way to delivery, the company has taken a leap and has exponentially increased sales.

In e-commerce, the buying experience needs to reflect all the consumer's wishes and this also encompasses the dynamism and readiness of the entire process of interaction with the store, which often ends only when the product arrives at the hands of the consumer.

In this context, exceeding customers' expectations does not only mean offering a quality product, but also ensuring attention to detail to surprise them with a positive experience that meets their innermost desires. Out in the front who watches this opportunity and invests efforts to transform its logistics into a competitive advantage.

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