Why we believe it’s best to be a technology partner not a solution provider

December 17, 2019 | IN Blog | BY Amelia Curwen

We care passionately about exceptional customer service and it’s really important to us that our platform delivers what our clients need so they can delight their customers. We believe that the best way to do this is to be a partner, not a provider. Our roadmap is driven by industry insight and also by the people who use our platform on a daily basis.

With this in mind, we recently invited some of our London clients to attend a user group session at our HQ so that we could hear about their challenges and needs as well as gather feedback on our strategic roadmap. It was also a great opportunity for us to give them a sneak peek of our upcoming next release!

Our user experience (UX) group was made up of store associates, personal shoppers and stylists – people using the technology day in and day out and the second group included senior executives from our UK client base focused on our strategic product direction.

We believe it is vital that we hear feedback from the full range of people that our platform touches. Senior executives need to see and understand the value of the platform in order to be assured of the value that it adds to the customer experience. Users need the app to be intuitive and useful in order for them to be excited about using it on a daily basis. It was a pure joy to hear the conversations between our different retailers, who were swapping best practice tips on ways to use the platform to drive results and we were thrilled that so many diverse roles made it during retail’s peak time.

It was also wonderful to see the positive reaction in the room when we gave them a preview of the upcoming release and great to know that we were on the right track in meeting our customer’s needs but that doesn’t mean we’re taking our foot off the gas. Our customers helped to identify several areas for improvement that will enhance their experience even further, and we’ll be working on these as well as our planned incremental UX improvements and new features over the coming weeks and months.

We also discussed with our strategic group the wider trends we see in both the industry and technology, including how retail is changing from being purely transactional and is becoming experiential and how digital is an important part of this transformation – it was great to hear some incredibly insightful views.

In addition, we heard from our customers about key challenges for 2020 and beyond. Driving customer retention and loyalty came out as the top business challenge, with staff retention as a close second. The industry data confirms that customer retention and loyalty are increased when the customer feels that the retailer knows and understands them, and can personalise their offering to suit them. Employees are more engaged when armed with the right tools. Both of these challenges can be overcome when using a strong, feature-rich Clienteling tool such as Proximity Insight.

Key technology changes identified included budget constraints in a difficult retail climate, the need to seamlessly integrate POS with Clienteling and poor in-store wifi connectivity.

The primary challenge raised with Clienteling as a concept was changing the culture within the organisation to drive adoption. In a world where 69% of US adults shop more with retailers that offer consistent customer service (Forester 2018), it’s crucial to address this point.

Armed with this knowledge about shared challenges, the group went on to prioritise our strategic roadmap candidates. This information is incredibly valuable to us, and we’re using our customers’ insights to inform and plan our next few releases.

As if this were not already enough, we were lucky to have a panel of incredibly inspirational women be interviewed by our CEO, Cathy McCabe.

Rupinder Mann, Founder Unnamed Ventures

Danielle Anderson,  Digital and Customer Experience Specialist

Christina Abbot, Customer Relationship Expert and Personal Shopper 

The reaction we received was overwhelmingly positive, and everyone who fed back felt it was a beneficial use of their time, for which we are extremely grateful.  We’ll continue to run regular user groups, and are looking forward to hearing from our US clients at a similar event on 15th January 2020 in NYC.