Successful innovators not only listen to their customers. They make their feedback an integral part of their decision-making process.
No field is more sensitive to the ups and downs of the economy than retail. Businesses operating in the field must be particularly flexible to adapt and react to a changing environment. The margin of error is minimal and you may face pitfalls at every corner.
With retail now rebounding from the pandemic blow (total retail sales in 2022 increased 8.1 percent from 2021), businesses that adapted to the new circumstances now have the opportunity to thrive. Successful companies share one common trait: they listen to their customers. How they do it and how they apply what they learn is a matter of both ingenuity and strategy.
Alida’s annual Delta Awards program—which celebrates the accomplishments of companies with best-in-class CX, VoC, and customer research programs—named the following retailers to our latest Innovators class because of their ability to leverage customer insights in innovative and effective ways.
Castorama: Building a customer-centric culture
The north star for Castorama (a French retailer of home improvement tools and DIY supplies) was to establish a customer-centric culture, specifically, to place the customer at the heart of every decision. The strategy to achieve this was to create a program complementary to their existing customer voice system to obtain precise, qualitative, and immediate feedback.
With that goal in mind, in September 2021 the retailer launched Casto&vous, an insight community supported by the Alida platform. Such environment made possible to set up in-depth questionnaires, mini-surveys, customer video feedback, marketing content testing, and digital service testing in an agile, fast, and flexible way.
The program was rolled out in less than a year and the results have been excellent. Castorama has provided their teams with customer insights on operational and strategic issues. In addition, community surveys have led to concrete actions like improving website content, setting up new loyalty program scenarios, contributing to sales advisor training, prioritizing certain subjects for video tutorials, as well as proposing technical developments for Hello Casto, the DIY voice assistant available in the Castorama app. Community members also help Castorama recruit brand ambassadors.
Castorama estimates savings of €75,000 on their research and development budget over the past year thanks to their successful deployment of the insight community.
Indigo incorporated VoC into their decision-making process
Indigo, Canada’s largest book and lifestyle retailer, set to develop a robust customer insights program, optimize CX based on direct feedback, de-risk product decisions prior to launch, and gather insights to inform strategy and organizational road mapping. Since customer feedback wasn’t always available or specific enough to act on, it became difficult to prioritize potential ideas.
To tackle this challenge, Indigo partnered with Alida to bring the voice of their customers into the decision-making process. They launched the Indigo Innovators community, a private, digital space for customers to provide feedback. In addition, participants received exclusive content and invitations to special events.
Survey engagement within the Indigo Innovators community hitted well above average numbers. Feedback informed strategy and planning on product assortment, store design, online services, and marketing programs. It also provided deep insights into the motivations of customers and experiences they have with the brand.
In addition, Alida Insight Communities helped Indigo recruit focus groups and conduct video interviews to capture feedback in the language of the customer. The two-way communication allowed Indigo to better understand customer needs and expectations and look forward strategically as they grow.
Pierre & Vacances: The customer knows best
France's leading holiday apartments rental company wanted to gain a better understanding of the customer experience by identifying customer pain-points. With that purpose, Pierre & Vacances created an insight community —Pierre & Vous— to help define the most important features expected by their users.
The community-powered research revealed consumers were more interested in local information during their holidays rather than tailored content based on their personal data. Pierre & Vacances used this information to rethink their strategy. This led to a digital welcome booklet with an easy-to-access QR code whose content was determined by local teams in order to make it more useful and relevant.
The project ended up being less demanding, cheaper, and faster to market than originally planned, and had a much stronger customer impact. Following the launch of the booklet, it obtained a customer satisfaction score of 8.73/10 and saw a nine-point difference in overall satisfaction between a site with a welcome booklet and one without.
Travelport embeds CV in design and development process
Travelport, a worldwide travel retail platform, aims to simplify the travel experience by connecting buyers and sellers in a single place. While the company prides itself on being customer-centric, they wanted a thorough research of their end-to-end customer experience. The ultimate goal was to create a seamless experience for agents and consumers, and remove operational complexity.
In partnership with Alida, Travelport created the Customer Voice Panel. Through a community of over 1,000 agents, managers, and directors, they conduct targeted surveys, polling, and face-to-face interviews for feedback on their retail products. The Customer Voice Panel community also enabled Travelport to gather essential insights on pain points in the travel retailing and management journey.
In preparation for the launch of Travelport’s new platform, the UX team asked questions, tested designs, and made adjustments based on the feedback received, and embedded the customer voice in the product design and development process. Getting rapid, quality feedback helped the team prioritize features on the product roadmap and improve the user experience.
Furthermore, Travelport’s marketing team has used insights from the community as part of global thought leadership campaigns to reinforce the company’s position as a thought leader in the travel industry.
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