Retail Customer Experience Guru Cliff Crosbie – ex Nike, Apple, IKEA – including online CX, and tracking emotions (episode 143)

Cliff Crosbie is Co Founder and CXO at Emrays, where he works on calculating emotions… and Chief Retail Officer at Performance Solutions where he helps retailers deliver the best customer experience.

I saw Cliff speak at 2017’s Internet Retailing Conference (I mentioned his session in the takeaways – episode 123-5 and I knew I had to get him on the show for this eCommerce Growth Series, both for the exciting work he’s currently doing and because of his impressive retail pedigree.

Cliff has over 30 years experience working with some of the best brands in the world. He ran Apple’s global Premium Reseller program, where the focus was on delivering an exceptional in-store experience for customers in over 90 countries, he was Japan Country Sales Manager for IKEA, Global VP for Nokia’s Retail and Customer Marketing, Head of Nike’s European Franchise program and the first GM of Niketown London.

Given that CV it’s no surprise that Cliff’s passion is for improving the customer experience in off and online.

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Hear Chloe’s thoughts about Cliff’s session at 2017 Internet Retailing Conference in the takeaways episode 123-5.

Getting Started

Getting into eCommerce was natural for Cliff, as he sees no difference between online retail and offline retail. Retail is any channel that works to get your goods to the consumer, and retailers just need to adapt to today’s ways of doing business. You’ve got to be wherever the customer shows up with the right product and the right offer at the right time, so be smart about where your customer is and what service you need to provide to them.

Customer Service

You have to start with what you want to deliver. Product is a given, but experience is leading. The first thing you want to get right is that experience. Emotionally, how do you want the customer to feel?

Emotions also impact loyalty. You don’t want a customer to purchase just one thing and be done with it, you want them to fall in love with your brand, so they need a good memory of how it is to interact with your brand.

Sentiment analysis helps with this by looking at reviews and working out if the customer’s emotion was positive, negative, or the dreaded neutral. At Emrays, they can determine the emotion a person has from their words or texts, so they can get an accurate view of how people feel about a brand. Then the brand can target their marketing to that.

Listen to learn how Emrays began by looking at reactions to news on Facebook and Twitter, and how they can now predict the emotions of a headline before seeing the reactions.

Small Retailers Utilizing Emrays

Emrays isn’t just for big retailers. Small retailers also work with them to do things like monitor their social media accounts to work out how customers are feeling about their brand. They can quickly find negative comments without having to read every single comment, track things that are not so good, and start doing something about them. Since bigger retailers get more data points, the data they receive may be more useful than it would be for smaller businesses. However, Emrays wants their tool to be accessible for everyone and get the idea out there for people to use.

Customer Experience

A ‘good’ customer experience varies depending on what the customer wants. If you want a bottle of wine, a good experience may be going to the store, being able to park easily, going in, grabbing the wine, going to the checkout, having no queue, and being out the door again in two minutes without having to talk to anyone. If you are training for a half marathon and need the best pair of Nikes to get you there, then a good experience may be to meet with an employee who has run a half marathon or understands what it’s like, who will ask what time you want to achieve and what training you plan to do, and fits you up with the perfect shoes. The experience depends on the product the customer is seeking. The retailer must work out what the customer needs and how to make it the best it can be.

Online, the experience must cater to both the customer who just wants to make a quick purchase and the customer who wants to study and research their options. Retailers must think more as a brand and less about the actual sale.

Listen to learn about the Niketown example.

Where to Start for Customer Experience in 2018

Decide what you want to deliver. Within your category, decide what makes you unique.

The biggest thing Emrays sees as a challenge is retention. Businesses need to motivate people to work for them and keep those employees. A lot of the experience you deliver at the end of the day is people. For smaller businesses especially, people are your marketers. Customers who used to tell 10 friends about their experience with you can now tell 10,000 friends on social media in a heartbeat, and the people who are influencing their experiences are your staff. Get your base right, get them to understand what you want to deliver, get them to want to be a part of that, and then deliver it to the customer.

Listen to learn why Cliff believes automated chatbots for problems aren’t necessarily a good thing. Listen to the Leapp example.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Drive penetration — look at how many people are getting in your front door and what percentage of them are getting around to your whole offer, and work on ways to get them to shop the whole store.

You can hear about all this on the podcast, for free – right now…

Tool Top Tip

  • Slack

Start Up Top Tip

  • Really get together what you’re trying to deliver and who your customer is going to be. Make sure you have something that is unique and really going to help people. Understand what you are doing and who needs that service.

Interview Links

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