Retailers must evolve amid changing customer expectations, say experts

(The Philippine Star) - June 10, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — With the incessant influx of innovations and changing customer expectations, retailers must continuously learn and relearn the dynamics of the industry to thrive in their businesses, according to two global retail market experts.

Customer experience (CX) advisor and trainer Claire Bosq-Scott said that compared from two years ago, the customers’ expectations have changed and are changing every day.

“A smile and a welcome are simply not enough to be considered ‘good customer service’ in today’s competitive market,” she said.

“Expectations are changing – customers expect to do anything they want, from anywhere and at any time. To give good customer care, you must deliver what you promise. But exceptional customer care involves getting to know your customers.”

Tofu Gear retail analyst Tifanny Lung, on the other hand, reiterated the importance of offering convenience to their customers over gimmicky technologies.

“Retailers are constantly seeking to stay relevant with their consumers and industry trends. To do so, many retailers are pressured to incorporate technology of any means as a quick easy fix to their “digital transformation strategy,” she said.

Rosemarie Bosch Ong, president of the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) and a longtime player in the retail industry, agrees that ensuring customer satisfaction and convenience is more than just technological gimmicks.

“At the end of the day, customers will assess their retail experience on many fronts, from the staff to the products and services, and then compare them to your competitors. This will determine if they will be coming back or not. This is why it is important to be always on your toes, constantly do your market intelligence and then innovate accordingly,” said Rose, also the senior executive vice president and chief operations officer of Wilcon Depot Inc.

Bosq-Scott and Lung will speak at the 26th National Retail Conference and Stores Asia Expo (NRCE) — the biggest retail event in the country — on Aug. 15 to16, 2019 at the SMX Convention Center to give more insights and tips on how retailers can evolve with the time and address the needs and expectations of their customers.

Bosq-Scott will speak about designing experiences to optimize customer’s emotional system and help businesses differentiate themselves, while Lung will showcase best-in-class examples and highlight what it takes to be a truly innovative retail leader.

The two-day conference and expo, featuring retail experts from both global and local scenes and retail solutions and suppliers at the exhibit area is anchored on this year’s theme “Retail Reimagined” to help retailers and the industry as a whole seek strategies on how to make retailing relevant amid disruptions and changes in the digital age.

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