Department store John Lewis recently managed to retain its top spot in The Institute of Customer Service’s UK Customer Satisfaction Index followed by Amazon, First Direct, Ocado and Marks and Spencer Food. The survey carried out this January included 39,000 responses from over 10,000 individual customers.
Although John Lewis’s score has dropped by 0.9 points over the last year, it still ranked highest with 87.2 points and the key to their success seems to be in their omnichannel customer care.
numero believe the key to this success is that the level of service across all channels remains consistent. If a customer is speaking to an agent over the telephone, every effort is made to ensure that the query is dealt with immediately. If a customer needs to be put through to a sales rep on the shop floor because there is no one available, a recorded CRM is sent to in-store runners, who ensure that the request is actioned within 2-4 hours.
This week John Lewis announced that it is partnering with Stibo Systems’ product information management solution, STEP, as part of its omnichannel retail strategy. The solution will be used to deliver highly accurate and specific product information consistently across all of the retailer’s customer service channels.
Dave Suddock, head of buying and brand operations at John Lewis, said: “Presenting customers with compelling product content is a critical part of being a leading omnichannel retailer.Our investment in Stibo Systems STEP will significantly enhance our capability to deliver great content in a timely manner.”
Offering an omnichannel experience means that customers will no longer have to wait in queues or have to repeat themselves as they move across communication channels within the same company. What John Lewis has done is to recognise the growing importance of convenience for consumers, which is underlined by their 400% increase in investment in this area over the past 5 years. With omnichannel retail fast becoming the norm, UK consumers’ heightened shopping expectations are placing pressure on brands to keep up with one another and numero believe that since 2010 John Lewis has become something of a pioneer for omnichannel customer care.
LCP, Global supply chain consultants described an omnichannel pioneer as a retailer who has “fully committed to transforming both their front-end and back-end operations to deliver a seamless experience to customers.”
LCP defined one of the key ingredients for omnichannel success as ‘seamless order management and customer experience’ – making it easy for the customer irrespective of what channel they are using, and allowing them to process and manage their order the way that suits them in one place.
Overall, it’s clear that consumer expectations are rapidly shifting, and today’s consumer demands an integrated omnichannel experience throughout the purchase process and beyond. To achieve this, retailers need to stop focusing on individual channel strategies and start ensuring that they are meeting the customers’ needs in a seamless experience.