Remember 2019? What a great year! The gig economy was taking off from Uber and Lyft to Airbnb. It was the height of customer service and convenience. Everything was plentiful. I love boom times for that reason—things are easy and convenient.
As a consumer, it seemed like everything was right at our fingertips. There were so many ways to get the things you wanted—retail store, computer, smartphone. I worked in San Francisco at that time, and I was experiencing the second dot-com boom. It was an auspicious time marked by excess, and you could feel the unsustainability in the air. It felt like the Internet 1.0 boom in 1999 and conjured images of the roaring 1920’s. Alas, there’s always a crash and ours was Covid.
But this blog isn’t about the pandemic (insert sigh of relief). It’s about how retail and service companies are eliminating the path to purchase options we love—whether they’re aware of it or not—and the customer experience mess it’s leaving in its wake. Here are four examples why I’m issuing a call to action to reclaim our retail mojo.
So, it’s 2023 and retailers are still struggling to get their mojo back. I get it. The persistent supply chain issues, the on-going labor shortages, etc. But after these experiences I’m starting to wonder … does anyone really care about customer service anymore? Does anyone want to help the human being that’s right there in front of them? Have retailers consciously abandoned some of their paths-to-purchase, or are they completely unaware? These four awful customer experiences I just described have shaken my loyalty to these brands.
And I know I’m not alone.
As a market researcher and someone who has spent a career in customer services roles, I’m concerned. When a path vanishes, sometimes right before our eyes, it forces us to change the way we do things. This may be the single biggest challenge to customer loyalty today.
Brands need to wake up to their paths-to-purchase. They need to measure and take notice that their paths-to-purchase are fraught with issues. Purchase paths are disappearing; it’s impacting consumer loyalty and killing brands.
Is your company forcing one path to purchase? I sure hope not because there is no single influence path for all consumers. Retailers needs to understand consumer behavior and the multitude of avenues along the path in which they engage with a brand. Only then will retailers reclaim their customer service mojo.
Our proprietary approach to path-to-purchase research dives into how modern shopping has changed consumer behavior and customer journey and helps brands understand what they need to build an actionable purchase journey map. Click below to learn more.