“Retailers know that a key driver of customer loyalty is their ability to deliver a unique, compelling customer experience.”Stephen Strohecker, Kronos Retail Strategic Advisor

In 1916, Clarence Saunders, the founder of Piggly Wiggly, opened the very first self-service grocery store. And before that glorious day, people handed their shopping lists to their grocers who picked out all the items for them. I had no idea the shopping experience was so different in the early years!

I learned these fun retail facts from Steve Strohecker's recently published paper Aligning the Labor Model with the Customer Experience. The way we are treated as customers and the experience we receive, whether in brick and mortar stores or via online establishments, is one of the main contributing factors in our decisions to continue sharing our business. What is it that so often makes or breaks these choices?

Your workforce, the people who interact with customers daily, is one factor. The most successful retailers are the ones who have invested in the experience they deliver to customers (much like Clarence Saunders did many years ago) and set consistent expectations across all divisions. Aligning the labor model with the customer experience is what differentiates one retailer from another.

Piggly Wiggly, Customer Experience, and Your Labor Model

What is the Retail Labor Model? According to Steve, it’s a tool that helps determine the financial and operational planning required to operate a store, and it’s a useful resource for estimating the impact of process change (details on page 5).

Your labor model and how you choose to build it ultimately affects the experience that customers shopping at your stores will receive.

It’s a very interesting read! Check out the full paper here.

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017