Differentiating yourself in a digital environment

As customers become more technologically savvy, businesses need to be equipped with solutions to engage with them digitally and in a meaningful way. In order to attract and retain customers, connectivity must underpin any digital solution.

Recent research from O2 has found that Britain’s consumers are expecting ever more personalised services but a huge number of customers are frustrated by the lack of personalised communication and services from retailers. In fact, over two thirds of consumers believe companies need to invest more in personalising customer communications and that digital is the best way to do this.

At the moment, over four fifths of consumers feel frustrated by the effects of not being able to personalise the customer service experience, such as constantly having to update details or speak to many different people to receive the service they need.

However, the majority of Britain’s biggest businesses believe they are doing enough to meet customer expectations, with half believing their personalised customer communications have increased engagement, satisfaction, brand warmth and advocacy.

This disparity in businesses’ perception around how they are performing versus consumers’ frustrations highlights the need to improve customer service through better digital communications. There is an opportunity for UK retailers to be empowered to better serve customers in digital Britain, by integrating smart, connected technology into the heart of their business strategy.

Of course, retailers are at the heart of many of Britain’s high streets. The Digital High Street 2020 Report published by the Digital High Street Advisory Board earlier this year highlights some recommendations on the revitalisation of our high streets in the digitally dominated world. It suggests that by working together, the members of a local high street community, and communities across the UK, can create the necessary economies of scale to build and share leading digital capabilities.

An interesting tool that retailers should consider is Wifi. After a one-off registration, customers accessing Wifi in a store – on any device and any mobile network – can be greeted by the business’s welcome page with personalised offers and messages. Unsurprisingly, retailer studies have found that customers who use their smartphones while shopping, stay longer.

As well as providing a more personalised and meaningful experience for the customer, Wifi can also help businesses understand their customer better. It can be used to access reports and anonymised data on Wifi detailing who, how and when people are connecting to Wifi in their venues. This data can in turn be used to design targeted and relevant offers to build customer loyalty.

There is a brilliant opportunity for businesses to overcome the disconnect between retailer and customer and engage and interact with consumers in a meaningful way. Through wifi in stores, the tools at retailers’ disposal have the potential to transform how people shop, encouraging customer loyalty and dwell time. Brands can improve customer engagement, targeting their customers with the right message, in the right place, at the right time and as a result, stand out from the competition by exceeding customer expectations.



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