For Kogan.com, customer experience means turning to digital technologies to reduce cost, so the online retailer can deliver customers the lowest price possible.
But customer experience, in practical terms, means different things to different businesses.
Speaking at Online Retailer Conference in Sydney yesterday, a spokesperson for Kogan.com noted there’s a lot of ambiguity around the term customer experience. “It can mean different things for different businesses and you really need to analyse it for your own business.”
For example, offering free shipping to all your customers, no matter where they live in Australia, could mean your metro customers are paying more to subsidise delivery to customers in Cairns or Broome, the spokesperson said.
“Is that taking a customer-centric approach? It depends on the sort of business.”
Another price leader, Aldi, makes you pack your own bags and recently won Roy Morgan’s most trusted brand award.
“The reason Aldi is a great business is they are completely honest,” the spokesperson said. “They are saying what’s more important to you? The price or having someone else pack your bag for you? And you need to be completely honest with your customer proposition and you need to know exactly what value you provide and build everything around that. It’s different for different brands.”
At the other end of the spectrum, a luxury brand like Louis Vuitton or Chanel “which takes $30 of leather and sells it for $5,000 — they have a totally different proposition” the spokesperson said. They can afford to “gift wrap their gift wrapping.”
Understanding what exactly customer experience means to your business can also help prioritise investments.
“Customer experience is the most important thing across any organisation because as a business, if you don’t have your customers you won’t have your business and everything needs to be focused on the customer. That’s not always a very easy thing to do,” the spokesperson said.
“We at Kogan, we are a price leader through digital efficiency. Everything is all about how do we provide better value and better price points to consumers. How do we automate every single element of the process all the way from sourcing to the supply chain, through to delivery and customer correspondence? That’s our duty to our customers.”
‘Data is valuable to keep improving the customer experience’
Underpinning the company culture at Kogan.com is an unfailing reliance on data to make decisions.
“We have a philosophy at Kogan that data is king. We do not want to make decisions based on gut feel, we want to make decisions on what the actual analysis shows,” the spokesperson said.
“Data is a lot more honest than people. By having the right information you can better target, you can be more efficient, you can reduce your marketing expenses. You can provide a better customer experience and the bottom line is the consumer benefits.”
Following the data may appear counter-intuitive at times, for example, Kogan.com shoppers who were shopping for winter coats were being recommended flips flops. When the retailer investigated the upselling suggestion they determined the system was right — people buying a winter jacket to go camping are also buying thongs to go to the bathroom.