One of this year’s TOP 5 retail trends is the creation of meaningful customer experience and brand engagement. Smarter companies like Foremost (soon I will tell you why) understood that customer experience will be their primary basis for competitive differentiation (by the way, such differentiation is also true to golf clubs and resorts!!).
They have just made the first steps by partnering with the customer service analysts and training provider 59Club. Foremost employees will get training and measurement programs engineered to enhance the customer service that they deliver for golfers in-store, as well as throughout the golf club’s business wherever there is customer contact.
As part of the partnership, members can utilize an approved collection of ‘excellence’ assurance tools which have been expertly engineered by 59club to serve the needs of the discerning golf retailer. 59Club will conduct mystery test audits and pre-set customer satisfaction surveys as well.
What are the customer experience development challenges for Foremost?
Customers are increasingly savvy and can use the transparency to help them to choose between golf retailers, pro-shops, etc. If they don’t get the desired customer experience during their shopping they easily and quickly switch to another retailer.
Foremost (and other golf retailers as well) will have to find answers and solutions to these challenges:
- Technologically upgrading business processes;
- Changing face of the customers: Millennials are taking over;
- Increased demand for convenience;
- How can we engage consumers in an ongoing dialogue? Learn and understand what consumers want and are willing to pay for!
- What new customer touchpoints can we offer?
- Transfer customer-centric mentality to your employees (I will talk about this later in this post).
- Employee engagement: how to achieve happy, engaged employees?
- Utilizing the latest technologies. For instance, how to implement successfully augmented reality (e.g. IKEA’s Ikea Place AR mobile app; Lowe’s AR based in-store navigation app) and virtual reality. These technologies can help to connect and engage with the new-age buyers.
- Utilizing customer data to provide personalized services and products. Today, we already can find technologies that enable personalization (e.g. wearables, chatbots, beacon technology). Most of the customers are expecting to receive products that appeal to their personal tastes. High-level personalization can improve your relationship with your customers that can lead to repeat business. Foremost will need to bring together all digital and physical channels to provide an omnichannel customer experience.
Attracting & retaining talents will be crucial for Foremost
I think retailing is also a people business. You can have the best products or services, but if your employees are not engaged, well trained and enthusiastic then you will not reach your sales targets. It can also the block favorable customer experience of a store.
Temkin Group‘s survey found:
- highly engaged employees are 2.5 times as likely to stay at work late if something needs to be done after the normal workday ends, more than 2x as likely to help someone at work even if they don’t ask for help, more than 3x as likely to do something good for the company that is not expected of them, and more than 5x as likely to recommend that a friend or relative apply for a job at their company.
- 91% of highly engaged employees always or almost always try their hardest at work.
- Companies that outpace their competitors in customer experience have 50% more engaged employees.
What do you think what are the major customer experience development challenges of golf retailers, pro-shops etc.? If you know any outstanding best practice/case study, then please share with us. Thank you. 🙂