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How to Drive Customer Interaction and Engagement, in Store and Online

Posted by Dean Asher on 10/5/16 10:45 AM
Topics: omnichannel, business intelligence

Whether it's more social engagement, more regular foot traffic or higher online sell-through, all college stores want more interaction points with our customers.

The secret to achieving it lies in data.

How to Drive Customer Interaction and Engagement, in Store and Online

In a recent interview with Retail Customer Experience, NCR Small Business President Chris Poelma illustrates how data can drive interaction with your customers.

Trying to boost interaction without truly understanding customer preferences is one of the biggest mistakes a retailer — big or small — can make. Today's omnichannel customer is a complex character, which means retailers need to lean on behavioral data — like what types of purchases they typically make, how frequently they shop and how they shop — to learn where their customers prefer to interact with their brand and the types of promotions their customers value.

Data can seem overwhelming, so I recommend keeping it simple to start. Focus on understanding and improving service first. If you can work to optimize the service you deliver to your customers, interaction will improve and loyalty will follow. 

Retailers need to gather data to develop a solid strategy for customer interaction, but it does not have to be a complicated or expensive endeavor. Analyze trends in customer behavior using technology you already have in place, like your POS. Many of these platforms include simple analytics tools at no extra cost.

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Every interaction your customers have with your brand affects their experience. Share trends derived from the data you collect on customer behavior with your team so they get a better understanding of your customer's personas and can provide a more personalized experience and ultimately, better service.

Make sure your store staff is also taking the time to identify and talk with first time customers. At the checkout counter, collect customer information like name, email and birthday in your POS system, and use this to customize future interaction.

Chris Poelma via Judy Mottl/Retail Customer Experience
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About Dean Asher

Dean Asher is a former copywriter with MBS. Though he no longer writes for us, he is still proud of having helped this blog continue to evolve as an industry-leading resource of news and original content.

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