While most retailers understand the importance of providing a consistently positive customer experience (CX), many struggle with legacy technology that fails to address CX needs—an issue compounded by the desire to invest in innovation without sacrificing traditional operational metrics, according to new research from customer-centric delivery platform Convey and eft Supply Chain & Logistics Business Intelligence. The firms recently announced the results of a joint study examining the importance of CX in final-mile delivery, and the impact of CX on supply chain performance and decision-making.
“Based on what we’ve heard from clients and others, the future of delivery is less likely to look like flying drones and more like the service you’d expect from a great concierge,” said Rob Taylor, CEO of Convey, in a news release. “Making this a reality means thinking from the outside-in about what customers want and building that into your business processes—so the more transparent, proactive and flexible your supply chain is, the better the experience will be.”
The survey data, coupled with in-depth interviews, reveals that:
Retailers understand the importance of the customer experience
- More than 83 percent confirm CX is a company-wide goal, with nearly 56 percent reporting CX measurement is key to operational decisions.
- In addition, 67 percent say gaining greater control of CX is crucial or very important to delivery.
Current technologies are not addressing CX needs
- Only three percent say current systems “fully support efforts to improve the customer experience” while more than 66 percent report existing systems do nothing to improve CX.
Supply chain leaders are integrating customer experience into their operations
- Nearly 72 percent say improving access to data for in-transit shipments across consumer service, operations and logistics teams is crucial or very important.
- Similarly, 70 percent confirm it is either crucial or very important to improve “bidirectional communication” with consumers regarding their delivery expectations, package tracking and resolution of delivery options.
- Another 70 percent agree that “the ability to take dynamic and proactive action on in-transit issues (i.e., re-routing or expediting shipments, communicating efficiently with carriers),” is crucial or very important.
The desire to improve CX is often at odds with traditional operational metrics
- More than 50 percent say reducing costs and improving margins is still crucial, with another 28 percent saying it is very important.
“We want to invest in a situation where if a customer orders patio furniture from us they’re not thinking about the delivery, they’re not thinking about the set-up, they’re thinking about the party they’re going to have that weekend,” said Jim Hourigan, COO at BuildDirect who participated in the survey, according to the release. “We want to invest in the types of things to make that experience happen.”
The report also includes expert commentary from Willis Weirich of Neiman Marcus, Kevin Scott of Build.com and Joseph Bobko of Boxed Wholesale on how they approach the challenges and opportunities of digital disruption in today’s retail supply chain operations.
Source: Business Wire; edited by Richard Carufel