Making the Most of Your Retail Data
Many business leaders around the globe say that “data is the new oil” in the world economy. That means mining it, managing it, and putting it to work is vital to the success of any business. That’s why adopting the latest retail data technology with features and integrations that work in unison to leverage it is so critical.
Deloitte, one of the largest accounting organizations in the world, estimates that 90% of business data generated in the last five years is unstructured, meaning it exists in documents such as invoices, emails, reports, and even digital photographs and videos. Retail data technology companies specialize in organizing and delivering it in a format that independent businesses can put to work.
Ways to Put Data to Work
Most savvy business owners by now are well aware of how to mine retail data by collecting customer information through sales transactions in their point of sale systems and rewards programs. However, there are effective ways to collect consumer feedback that can help improve customer service. One is the utilization of Net Promoter Scores (NPS), a management tool used to gauge customer service, satisfaction and loyalty.
“We launched an NPS system and what we’ve learned from it is monumental,” says Jeff Rogers, marketing, sales and partnerships director at Paladin Data Corporation. “It’s reshaped our business. We use it to keep a pulse of our client sentiment and tell us how we’re performing. That’s what it comes down to for every business – develop insights and make better decisions based on the information you have at your fingertips.”
What is NPS
NPS is a post-transaction survey that asks customers: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our products or services to a friend?” Responses are categorized: Scores 0-6 are Detractors, 7-8 are Passives, and 9-10 are Promoters.
What NPS Does
It measures customer satisfaction and loyalty. Loyal customers provide the bulk of any business’s sales and supply most of its valuable retail data. A study from Small Biz Trends shows that 80% of a store’s future profits will come from the top 20% of its existing customers.
It identifies strengths and weaknesses. Nesmith says his company relies on client feedback to enhance client service and product development. He considers its responsive support one of the company’s pillars of success.
Businesses can learn from negative feedback. Feedback from Detractors is often more valuable because it helps identify areas of improvement such as product assortment or employee training deficiencies.
It gives Promoters a stage. Studies show that roughly 90% of consumers are likely to recommend businesses after a positive shopping experience. And with Hubspot research showing 81% of shoppers now trusting word-of-mouth recommendations more than advertising or marketing, identifying those happy customers and offering them a chance to voice their support is easy with an NPS system and quality customer experience.
It aids in products and services development. Using the retail data and comments gathered from an NPS system gives businesses a tool to improve their products and customer service. Feedback about specific store associates can be used to offer kudos and aid in training procedures.
NPS surveys can be administered in a variety of ways.
- Imbedded on e-receipts
- Included in e-newsletters
- Associated with rewards program messages
- Pop-ups on mobile apps
Low Tech Approaches
There are other ways to gather customer feedback. Suggestion boxes, short surveys on the back of printed receipts, and dedicating an employee to gauge customers about their shopping experience are a few simple ways to find out how you’re doing.
With retail stores increasingly combining their online and in-store customer experience, and use of mobile shopping gaining momentum, retail data from customers is readily available and ultimately valuable. Putting it to work to improve customer service and refine product offerings is easy with the right tools.