Be more customer-centric – Floor Covering News

So what are we actually talking about when we talk about customer experience? What we’re talking about is the fact that the product doesn’t really matter at this stage of the game.

How do we know this? We have been working with various industries for a long time (I was already a flooring sales representative back then) and we continue to work with companies in the production space. What we found is that there is still a focus on products with claims like, “Our product is better.” “It’s harder than last year.” “It’s softer than last year.” “It’s more waterproof than last year.”

Whatever that story is, it won’t help you stand out in the market. I recently had a conversation with a flooring industry executive who oversees a very large retail network. He told me that if he had his way, the showrooms he oversees would have one-sixth of the product on their showroom floors. His reasoning? The volume of products and the choices customers have makes the decision-making process more difficult, not easier. He also went so far as to say that there has been no material upgrade in the experience we deliver to customers in the past 20 years. Yes, we’ve made digital progress in the form of websites, social media, online video, etc. But in terms of the journey the buyer takes to find her product, get it into her home and have it installed, it’s there have been no material upgrades in the last 20 years.

It’s time to make those upgrades because you can’t just stand by that your product is better than the competition because you say so; you have to find another way to stand out. And that new frontier is experience.

Chris Wallace is the president and co-founder of InnerView, a marketing consultancy that helps companies deliver their brand messages to their customer-facing employees and partners.

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