Inflation is reaching record highs, with prices rising by more than 8.5 percent compared to last year. Major sectors such as food and gas are leading the trend with double-digit price increases, but all retail categories have been affected.
In this environment, customers are often unpredictable, more sensitive and more demanding. Customer satisfaction is critical to retention and revenue, and rapidly rising prices are challenging retailers to maintain customer satisfaction without losing money.
Brands cannot afford to be in a reactive position now. Successfully navigating the fluctuating economy will require a thoughtful and informed approach. Retailers must adopt data-driven strategies, relying on analytics and technology to make intelligent decisions about pricing, inventory, promotions and customer experience.
Analytics can explain seemingly inexplicable customer behavior and can predict future behaviors and priorities to ensure brands don’t lose key customers. Powered by artificial intelligence, digital experience intelligence tools capture and analyze 100 percent of online customer interactions, providing companies with key insights, actionable recommendations and data-driven predictions.
Retailers can use this information to determine which products are best suited for price increases, when is the best time to make a price change, and how to adjust inventory levels to reflect changes in demand. Predictive analytics can also be used to automatically deliver customized pages or products to customers based on customer data, which can increase conversions and loyalty.
Ultimately, incorporating predictive analytics into all aspects of the company will enable brands to use their resources more efficiently, saving them money and improving their ability to rapidly adjust to inflation. .
Using Intel VoC
Voice of the customer (VoC) captures customer feedback, allowing businesses to better understand customer preferences, needs and expectations. With constant price and/or commodity fluctuations, it is important for brands to analyze VoC data to recognize how changes are affecting customers. Business leaders can use this information to identify which areas are most frustrating for customers and then prioritize changes to mitigate any revenue loss.
Customer Service Analysis
It’s important to collect all digital customer experience data as many consumers will never reach out after a frustrating experience (they’ll just take their business elsewhere). Viewing and analyzing the information generated by the customer support team will provide brands with clear and concise customer feedback.
Customer service analytics can be used to identify key pain points, which teams can use to make informed decisions, ideally providing real-time solutions.
Creating great experiences in the unknown
Margin-eroding inflation is out of businesses’ control, but they can control the quality of their customers’ digital experience.
Emphasis should be placed on creating a seamless, personalized customer experience, using data to improve all aspects of the customer journey. If customers are satisfied with their experience, they may be willing to overlook selected price increases.
To further improve customer satisfaction, brands should consider opportunities for deals/promotions, determining which products are most important to maintain lower prices. To create margins, retailers may raise the prices of other less sensitive items.
With inflation showing no signs of leveling off, retailers need to prepare for the future. A customer-centric, data-driven approach will help brands navigate uncertain waters. All brands need sophisticated analytics tools and technologies to help them overcome the challenges of inflation with agility and resilience.
Gaby Koren is the Chief Revenue Officer at Glassbox, a digital customer experience analytics company.