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Industry Research : Retailers Look to CFM Technology to Elevate the In-Store Customer Experience
Four out of five senior retail decision makers see improved customer satisfaction as a potential benefit of being able to link customers to the most appropriately skilled sales or service person, with 36% stating this is now one of their key investment priorities, according to new research from Qmatic.
In the report called "Customer Flow in Retail" which was conducted on behalf of the provider in customer flow management (CFM), two-in-five respondents confirm they currently have projects underway to improve the way they link customers with the correct person or department.
Just over three quarters of respondents (76%), both those with and without development projects underway, confirmed they would expect to see increased sales as a result while 41% stated a more efficient and streamlined store operation would be an important outcome.
David Anahory, UK CEO at Qmatic explained, "As the retail environment becomes increasingly competitive, retailers are looking to CFM technologies to improve on-premises sales, boost operational efficiencies, drive customer satisfaction, and enhance in-store interactions with customers."
CFM encompasses the entire customer journey from pre-arrival through to post-serving, including the provision of management information at every stage. It can range from both independent and networked virtual and linear queue management, intelligent camera deployment, digital media, kiosk systems, customer feedback devices and mobile phone applications through to simple barrier and in-store merchandising configurations.
The survey reveals how digital media technology and self-service kiosks are being adopted by stores to help manage customer flow and enhance the overall shopping experience.
Almost half (46%) of respondents confirm they are looking to use digital media to direct customers to the correct person or department, while almost a third (31%) say they’re working on using digital kiosks to assist customer choice. When it comes to managing customer queuing and waiting, almost a third (31%) already have developments underway that involve media screens in waiting areas.
"Our work with retailers such as Marks and Spencer, John Lewis and Vodafone points to the fact that today’s consumers are time poor and convenience is all important. How brands proactively manage the waiting experience and deliver on the brand promise by interacting with customers in a meaningful way generates measurable gains – including greater time spent in store, fewer ‘walk aways’ and abandoned purchases, and higher levels of shopper return visits – all of which add to the bottom line," continued Anahory.
The Qmatic research was conducted by IT market research consultancy, Vanson Bourne among 100 retail respondents, broken down evenly between board level directors and mid level store based managers, and across varied sizes of organisation: 16% with 500-1,000 employees, 36% 1,000-3,000 employees and 48% more than 3,000 employees.
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Published: Monday, February 27, 2012