Feeling, perception, memory – hallmarks of humanity. Maybe not the first words that drift to mind when you think supply chain. But they’re the pulse of every brand – the essence of savvy business.
“It’s not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is,” bestselling author and communication mastermind Marty Neumeier reminds us. And it’s true.
To be clear, “they” are your customers, or the people you wish were your customers. No matter how much time you spend perfecting your products and finessing your marketing, it’s all for naught if you fail to charm and connect with these instrumental individuals.
Emotional resonance is paramount. And while brand stories and client experiences are usually the beloved topics of marketers (myself included), creating and sustaining meaningful relationships with customers is truly the responsibility of many departments, not just one.
The potential for improvement is vast. According to the 2017 Customer Experience Index, surveying more than 500 retail and consumer products brands, companies aren’t meeting customer expectations. In fact, the average score for satisfying customer expectations was just 33 out of 100 possible points, highlighting a major gap between what customers want and what brands deliver.
What’s causing this rift? The study looks at some possible answers. For example:
- While 53% of brands offered consistent, basic inventory data for consumers, only 17% offered more than limited in-stock, out-of-stock information. And 30% of brands offered inconsistent or no supply chain data across channels.
- Only 19% of brands offer more than a basic level of personalization of the online experience. They need to do more to customize the shopping experience and provide better self-service capabilities.
- 64% of brands didn’t allow customers to specify their preferred delivery day or time slot, while 39% of brands did not provide buy online/pickup in store services.
The bottom line: Run all representations of your brand through the customer filter. Remember customers don’t differentiate between your internal departments and who’s running which channels. They only see your one brand. So act as one.
It’s marketing applying analytics to discern customer behavior, commerce sculpting experiences that imbue brand loyalty, and supply chain predicting and mitigating disruptions to meet expectations. Marketing, commerce, and supply chain coming together as one to elicit delight – and trust – within each and every person who experiences your brand.
We call this holistic vision Watson Customer Engagement.
With embedded cognitive capabilities throughout Watson Marketing, Watson Commerce, and Watson Supply Chain, Watson Customer Engagement will help sharpen your daily decision-making and enhance team expertise.
Read the Watson Customer Engagement press release: “New IBM Studies Reveal Brands Struggle to Meet Demands of Today’s Consumers Including Members of Generation Z”
Want to delve deeper into Watson Supply Chain?
- Download the point of view: The new era of supply chain begins now
- Experience the microsite – with videos, client stories, offering overviews, and more
- Check out the “Meet Watson: Your Supply Chain Analyst, Advisor, and Assistant” blog post
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