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A Complete View of the Customer Enables a Better Retail Experience

Today we are in “the age of the customer” and terms such as “customer journeys” and “customer experience” are used in many contexts. However, unlike in the 1990s, it’s now possible for retailers to develop a more complete view and interact with the customer in a personalized manner. Our research finds that most organizations have come to understand that customer engagement and the quality of the customer experience are ways to differentiate themselves from the competition. This involves handling multiple forms of interactions, many of which are digital. The challenge for most retailers is to handle interactions in the context of the customer journey—the relationship the retailer has with the customer and the impact interactions have on both customers and employees. Due to this challenge, by 2024, one-half of retail organizations will see the need for a dedicated tool for integrating their siloed stores of customer data, spurring discussions between IT and CX professionals on data management strategies.

Customer journeys and relationships develop over the course of multiple interactions—commerce, social media, text messages, face-to-face discussions, chat sessions, posts to marketplaces and public forums—with marketing, sales, and customer service representatives. They might be one-off or frequent, involve one or more people and technology tools, and be close or at arm’s length. They can cover a range of subjects and vary in type (complaint, comment, request, inquiry, thanks). Furthermore, each interaction results in different reactions and responses, largely driven by emotions, that retail organizations should consider. Is the customer happy or sad? Satisfied or dissatisfied? Likely to recommend or negatively comment about the retailer? Likely to buy more or look for an alternative supplier?


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About the Author


Keith Dawson

VP and Research Director
Ventana Research

Keith Dawson is responsible for Customer Experience (CX) research, covering technology that facilitates engagement to optimize customer-facing processes. His focus areas include agent management, contact center and voice of the customer, along with technology in marketing, sales, field service and applications such as digital commerce and subscription management. Keith’s specialization is in natural language speech tools and the wide array of customer analytics.