Heavens, we’ve forgotten the customer – so what does he want?

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Customer experience management Heavens, we’ve forgotten the customer – so what does he want?

Published on 04.06.2019 by Liv Bianchet, Manager Customer Experience

The online shop has a fresh and modern look. All the processes work perfectly, but the customers aren’t buying anything. So what’s gone wrong?

A common cliché says that online retail consistently controls customer orientation. But with the exception of the industry giants, that is often not the case. Frequently, the retailers’ processes dictate user navigation within the shop.

On the surface, high-street retailers seem to have it easier. Through direct contact with the customers, they have the opportunity to ask visitors to their store what they are looking for. But this is not the case. ROPO (research online, purchase offline) is just one phenomenon of the digitized world of commerce. Because the opposite can also be true.

Today, customers have become less tangible, more sensitive to prices and somewhat ambivalent towards providers. Everything is comparable, exclusivity at product level is a thing of the past. This makes marketing difficult. Omnichannel commerce is the byword today. And in this respect, customer behaviour plays a key role.

What do customers want, and when, where and how do they want it?

Google is generally the first port of call when someone has the intention of buying something. That is why retailers should not rely solely on their own website. Anyone who wants to be found by a search engine among the millions of other offers must turn their attention to search engine optimization (SEO). The effort will pay off. A whole series of factors now influence customer search behaviour. The time of year is just as relevant as the time of day. Whether they are performing a quick search during a train journey, over their lunch break or in the evening in front of the TV, customers’ needs are different in each case. In the morning, for example, people check the news or the weather, while at lunchtime they might be looking for a restaurant before doing a little research on their next holiday in the evening. Such factors can be pivotal in how a company should position itself online.

Designing the context for customer experiences

How a retailer presents his products therefore depends on the context in which potential buyers find themselves. Nowadays, customers expect integrated purchasing experiences tailored to their needs within the current context. The main challenge facing traders is to understand the behaviour of the target group. Customers must be addressed in a positive manner at every point of contact along the customer journey.

Creating exclusivity through the experience

Exclusivity at product level is a thing of the past. Consequently, companies have to make a difference through the customer experience. With this in mind, customer contact points take on a decisive role. If a company has detailed knowledge and a precise understanding of the behaviour and needs of its target groups, it can already succeed in creating an optimized and inspiring experience with very few resources. Time is all that is required to study the target group and their behaviour.


Liv Bianchet, Manager Customer Experience, PostLogistics

Liv Bianchet-Kop – lecturer and specialist in both customer-centered service design, with a focus on behavioural research and measurements, and educational design – works at Swiss Post Logistics as Manager Customer Experience.

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