Welcome to our latest edition of Realise Quarterly News.
A new financial year is often an opportunity for a fresh perspective on all things business.
In this issue, we look at business-to-business relationships and why an emphasis on branding, customer service and product development is just as important in this sector at it is in business-to-consumer markets.
Corporate cultures that support a short-term profit led approach are more likely to fall short in the long run. Companies that differentiate from their competitors are making customer experience central to all decisions and are continually innovating in all aspects of their business offering.
With CX and innovation at front of mind, we recently participated in the judging of the Inside Retail Annual Awards where the Customer Experience Initiative covered four categories. Finally we were honoured to recently take out a service award ourselves! Read on to find out more.
We hope you enjoy the read.
Katie Miles, Managing Director
The Realise Group wins Supplier Award
We don’t usually name names and we don’t usually blow our own trumpet, but we are incredibly honoured to have recently received a 7-Eleven Supplier Award in the Outstanding Service Non-Merchandise category for our Voice of The Customer dashboard.
Our Voice of The Customer programs help our clients understand and improve the customer experience by assessing overall satisfaction and loyalty levels through a variety of customer experience metrics, depending on the desired outcome of the program. They help identify and understand systemic problems which won’t rear their heads with singular research projects, and they can close the feedback loop between management, customers and frontline staff.
Time and time again, our Voice of The Customer program proves to be an integral ingredient in the overall successes of many wonderful retailers across Australia and New Zealand.
Thank you to the 7-Eleven team for recognising just how fantastic our VoC program really is!
The Price Of Being Different
It is often assumed that when businesses sell goods to one another, especially in business-to-business (B2B) commodity markets, that it all comes down to price.
It doesn’t have to be this way. B2B International data shows only 20 per cent of B2B customers prioritise price over all other issues; a huge 80 per cent look for more from their suppliers. Better service. Higher engagement. Improved communications. The list goes on.
Nick Hague, director of B2B International, market researchers specialising in B2B data, suggests three ways to increase your profit and not sell on price, while still making customers happy.
None of the three are quick fixes, but that’s not a bad thing. Moving an entire company from a price to a value focus is a big undertaking and requires a multi-year commitment across the entire organisation.
1. Differentiation through the brand
Business customers are also consumers, and will use a brand’s promise to identify and gauge business products and services.
Although half of B2B businesses say they focus on branding, according to B2B International data, only 37 per cent regularly check their brand’s health. Businesses competing on value should frequently assess how familiar the market is with their brand, that customers see the brand as standing for something distinct and better than competitors, and that all interactions between customer and company deliver on the promise made by the brand.
2. Customer Experience
Creating a high-quality and consistent customer experience requires managers to understand the journey customers take from first contact with the organisation, likely online, all the way to renewing a contract.
Mediocrity in service and customer experiences just don’t cut it. The middle of the road — i.e. just doing what’s expected — is not enough in a world of social media where customers have the megaphone and are talking about how you improve or cause frustration in their lives. Don’t allow your people to accept that ‘middle of the road’ mediocrity is ok.
All operations – the organisational structure, IT systems, supply chain management, employee performance management and so on – should then be designed with the primary goal of making the customer experience as seamless and effortless as possible. Although 50 per cent of companies say they’re working on this, far fewer are making progress. Only 28 per cent rate their customer journey mapping as “excellent”, for example.
3. Product Development
It’s vital for all companies to maintain a fresh and relevant product portfolio. It helps to ensure that at least 30 per cent of your product or service offerings have been developed within the past five years.
And remember, innovation doesn’t always need to be about products, it can be about service and the way you do things, often internal business processes.
Over the last sixteen years, The Realise Group has invested in finding the best technologies globally to support the changing needs of its broad client base, and now offers a range of best-practice and exclusive methodologies to help organisations listen to their customers, measure what matters, and ensure brand promises are being delivered.
Get in touch with us to discuss the changing needs of your business.
INSIDE RETAIL AWARDS 2017
We do love a gala event. Even more so, we love being a part of recognising and celebrating greatness in retail businesses.
The Realise Group and Field Agent were a part of the final judging process for the top four of ten award categories – the Customer Experience Initiative Large and Specialty, Instore and Online awards.
Also on the panel of judges was Peter Wilkinson, Chairman of Retail Leaders Forum.
"Judging of the retail awards this year was both a pleasure and a challenge,” said Wilkinson.
“A pleasure because there were so many strong and thoughtful entries and a challenge because of the quality and closeness of entries in a number of categories."
Congratulations to all award winners.
HEALTHY LIVING REPORT: PART 1 & 2
We surveyed 500 Australians early in 2017 and found a great many were seeking a course for positive healthy changes in the months ahead.
Healthy living goals also have implications for a healthy retail industry.
The reports conducted by Field Agent are jam packed with insights into healthy living shoppers. The report, delivered in two parts, encompasses findings from an equal number of men and women.
For a healthy business, rely on Field Agent's location specific research and auditing capabilities. With over 50,000 Australians as part of our crowdsourcing team, we capture in-store information and in-the-moment insights quickly, affordably, and in the places that matter most to your business.
BE THE DISRUPTOR
Customers have more information and methods of communication with a business than ever before, and they are not afraid to use them.
The success of your business is closely connected to your ability to manage its digital presence, and the performance and consistency of the various consumer touchpoints.
Data creates the possibility of a personalised consumer experience, and shoppers know this. From marketing and correspondence, to the online and in-store retail experience and after-sales service, consumers expect you to treat them as individuals.