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Amazon is best on mobile customer satisfaction: ForeSeeBy Kari Jensen
Amazon and Apple have topped the list of best mobile retailers in customer service for three years running, according to a new report from ForeSee.
As mobile and bricks-and-mortar retailers strive to find ways to better serve consumers, reports such as this are guideposts. Marketers are looking to Amazon and Apple as mobile’s influence continues its upward rise.
“The value of a satisfied consumer is huge,” said Larry Freed, CEO of ForeSee, Ann Arbor, MI. “Highly satisfied consumers are 76 percent more likely to purchase from that retailer online than dissatisfied consumers.
“[They are] 67 percent more likely to buy from that retailer the next time they buy similar merchandise, a great measure of loyalty,” he said. “[They are] 68 percent more committed to the brand and 70 percent more likely to recommend the retailer.”
The Mobile Customer Experience Report is a section of “The ForeSee Experience Index: 2013 U.S. Retail Edition” report, which measures the customer service experience with the biggest retailers in the United Sates as reported by the Fortune 500 and Internet Retailer’s top 100 Web sites.
According to the report, mobile is affecting direct sales contribution and purchases in other channels, too. Showrooming has become a reality for both online and bricks-and-mortar retailers.
For those reasons, consumers’ feedback cannot be overlooked.
“Improving the customer experience has a bigger payback than most other investments,” Mr. Freed said. “And remember, you cannot manage what you do not measure, so start with measuring the customer experience, and then figure out where to make your investments and get at it as if your life depends on it.”
Apple and Amazon are both top-ranked mobile retailers, so it makes sense that they also have been top-ranked mobile customer experience providers for three years in a row, according to Mr. Freed.
“To be a great retailer and deliver a great experience to consumers, you are going to have to do it across multiple channels,” he said. “That is what consumers demand.”
There is also a correlation between the top-performing mobile retailers and the top mobile customer service-providing retailers.
Not to mention, consumers demand it on all of a retailer’s mobile, digital and in-store channels. This includes mobile applications and sites.
“Consumers are becoming more multichannel every year, interacting with multiple channels for each retailer and that experience across all the channels,” Mr. Freed said. “The omni-channel experience is what matters to consumers.
“This year, we saw consumers that interacted with more than one channel for a retailer were more satisfied than consumers that interacted with only a single channel,” he said. “These trends will continue.”
Amazon’s iPad app
Room for improvement
However, all mobile retailers, including Amazon and Apple, still have room to improve, according to Mr. Freed.
“These retailers are some of the largest and most successful retailers,” he said. “But all have opportunities to improve.
“Retailers need to continue to improve the experience within a channel and across channels in order to keep up with rising consumer expectations and their competitors,” he said. “And it all starts with measurement. You cannot manage what you do not measure.”
Lower-ranked companies can improve their merchandise, price, functionality and content.
In these cases, the mobile experience is disappointing for some consumers.
“It differs retailer by retailer,” Mr. Freed said. “But some common ways are lack of functionality on mobile apps and sites. ”
According to consumers, functionality on mobile apps and sites was the area for biggest improvement across the mobile retailers. Merchandise and content followed close behind.
In ForeSee’s 2011 report, functionality and navigation also were areas where mobile experiences were disappointing to consumers (see story).
“While consumers are never happy with prices, improving their perception of the fairness and competitiveness of price is not going to improve their experience as much as improving functionality, merchandise and content will,” Mr. Freed said. “Poor integration with other channels and lack of consistency across channels are other areas that often lead to disappointed consumers.”
Kari Jensen is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York
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