Retailers! Get Your Data in Order

Author Bio

Author Bio

I’m lucky enough to spend much of my time talking to Confirmit’s Customer Experience experts and our customers about some of the most important best practices and approaches to running a Voice of the Customer program. It means I know what businesses can achieve through these initiatives and the capabilities of the technologies that support them.

The downside of this is that it makes it all the more annoying when I see people getting it wrong. Whether that’s gaming established methodologies (as happened with my colleague recently), writing horrible surveys, or failing to use existing data. Basically, I’m sensitive to rubbish CX now.

Which brings me to “Rubbish Survey Experience” corner. 

One of my favorite retailers recently sent me an email about their sale. I was quite excited so I had a mooch around the website and found a half price item I liked in the Petite section (I am short and items on sale in that section are like hens’ teeth). I ordered it and was pleased to see that I could have the item delivered to a store of their partner brand, thus saving on delivery. I arranged to have the item (very pleasing cropped trousers, if you were wondering) sent to a store near the office and that was that.

So far, so good.

Better still, the trousers turned up 2 days later, I had an email with a bar code included sent to me, and I was off to pick them up on the way home. I had to wait a little longer than I’d have liked at the store, but it was ok, and the member of staff then scanned my email, found the package and I pottered off to St Paul’s station.

And then we get to the annoying thing. It’s not massive, but it’s something that companies really need to get on top of. I received a survey. Fine. Like most people, I get a lot of surveys now, but this is a company I like, sending me a timely survey about an experience that just happened. I’m very happy to provide my feedback, particularly if I think they will use it. The Click and Collect option is new to them and I’m sure there are things they want to learn.

But the first question was “Which of our stores did you collect your purchase from?”


Well, Mr Retailer, it was the same store that I asked you to deliver it to. A fact that must be in your system somewhere because it arrived as planned. It’s also the same store where an electronic scanner of some kind just bleeped my barcode to find the parcel. I’d warrant that information is also in your system.

So why are you asking me? The other questions were all fine. Valid things that you have no other way of finding out, but this just irritated me and spoiled what had otherwise been a very good customer experience.

Silos of data are a nightmare for most businesses, and retailers are no exception, but really, there are ways to resolve them. Failing to do so risks losing future customer feedback that could have a real impact on your business. Just don’t ask the dumb stuff and use the data you already have.

Oh, the trousers fitted perfectly, in case you needed closure on that.