The personal service and human contact can make a huge difference for the customer’s shopping experience – in particular if a brand, a shop or a company is known for providing excellent customer service. By using the digital opportunities, you can put the commitment and expertise of your employees into play in your webshop and by doing so give the customer journey an extra dimension.
From UX over CX to EX – and back again
For many years, there has been much focus on creating the optimal user journey on the digital platforms in the form of good design and intuitive flows also called User Experience (UX). The purpose is to focus on how the customers interact with your product, your brand and your services – online as well as offline – and through that ensure the good customer experience in all phases of the purchase also called Customer Experience (CX).
However, a concept which attracts more and more focus from company managers is Employee Experience (EX) which basically is about having happy and committed employees and how this strategic focus point can be used for increasing productivity and earnings.
Richard Branson from Virgin puts it like this:
”My philosophy has always been, if you can put staff first, your customers second, and shareholders third, effectively, in the end, the shareholders do well, the customers do better, and your staff remains happy.”
As the illustration below shows also the American retail giant, Wallmart, has experienced that investment in employee satisfaction has a positive effect on the customers’ shopping experience.
Companies and brands with focus on both UX, CX and EX will often experience a self-perpetuating effect because just like happy employees give happy customers, studies show that happy customers give happy employees!
How companies can work strategically to ensure a high level of job satisfaction is a discipline which this article will not go into. Instead, you will get examples of how you can put your committed and dedicated employees into play in your webshop.
Get advice from the experts- at home
Skin test at Matas.dk
Matas, Denmark’s largest retail chain within personal care is constantly working on providing the ultimate customer service for their customers – whether they shop online, offline or a combination of the two.
Just like Matas is incorporating digital tools in their physical shops to optimise the customer experience and make the workday easier for the employees – in the form of click-and-collect, the option of shopping online via the staff’s online devices, etc., Matas is also working on strengthening its webshop with the best from the physical shop: the personal guidance.
Matas’s customers can now get an online skin test by filling in a questionnaire which is developed by beauty consultants and a chemical engineer. The answers are analysed by a skincare expert and the customer will subsequently receive a skin analysis which maps skin type and skin condition and get good advice on how to get a skincare routine.
Chat with a pharmaconomist
Another way of putting your staff into play is by using chat functions. Bizzkit’s customer, DinApoteker, which is a joint e-commerce solution for 157 Danish pharmacies, offers a chat function that is staffed 24/7 by pharmaconomists.
This makes it possible for the customers to be in contact with professionally trained staff online which supports the chain’s objective of offering the customers the same good guidance online as in the local pharmacy.
By implementing this type of functionality as described above, the following platform technologies and features are typically used:
Bizzkit is a so-called ’headless’ e-commerce platform with full API architecture. One of the advantages of this type of platform is the option of integrating with external technologies. For example SurveyGizmo, which is among the experts within online surveys, and which was selected by Matas to deliver the technology behind the questionnaire. By using a ’headless’ architecture, a high degree of flexibility is obtained for example to combine external technologies with content created in Bizzkit CMS. This gives the visitor a cohesive experience.
Granulated product attributes
When products are created in the Bizzkit PIM system, it is possible to work with attributes at many levels: product properties, product descriptions, product titles and product categories. Attributes which are used for intelligent filtering of the relevance of products and thus ensure a fast and correct match for the customer’s requirements.
If the questionnaire survey or the chat function should only be used when a customer is logged in, differentiated content is managed by the feature Target Audience. In this way, it is ensured that customers who are logged in see one type of content, whereas customers who are not logged in are guided by a different content.
To create a super visual presentation, it is important to use photos, videos, etc. both when creating content in the CMS but also when creating products in the PIM. Visual material which is retrieved from the solution’s Digital Asset Management system. Since Bizzkit is a complete platform, CMS and PIM are automatically connected to DAM allowing the systems to easily retrieve visual material via pickers and drag’n’drop.
It has to make sense
To a great extent, online shopping and digitalisation is all about making the customers ‘self-supporting’. A survey conducted by Groove actually shows that among people who shop online, the need for personal help is not necessarily big:
But situations may exist where it makes very good sense to put your talented employees actively into play online. Examples could be:
- If some customers prefer to avoid having to visit the physical shop but where it is difficult to advice yourself since it requires a special professional knowledge (e.g. an ill customer who needs products from the pharmacy).
- Brands that have developed a very special goodwill in the physical meeting with the customers and that wish to use this goodwill online.
- To be able to offer the customers an experience which positively exceeds the customer's expectation to what is possible in a webshop. Matas skincare test is an example of a service which the customers did not expect but have welcomed positively.
- To stand out from the competitors.