Customer Experience Roundup, April 24, 2019

The goal of customer experience should always be to make customers’ lives easier. From creating forward-thinking products to offering convenient ways to connect with brands and providing personalized service, customer experience revolves completely around the customer. This week, there were stories in the news of brands that put customers first—even when that means bad news for the company. There are three customer experience stories from the week.

Kohls To Start Taking Amazon Returns

It’s about to get a little easier to return Amazon purchases. Kohl’s just announced that starting in July, it will accept returns for items purchased through Amazon at all of its stores. Customers can simply bring in an Amazon item within its return window, and Kohl’s will send it back to Amazon, even without a box or label. Kohl’s started selling select Amazon gadgets a few years ago, and this move greatly expands the relationship.

This partnership is a win for Kohl’s, Amazon and customers. Customers get the convenience of returning Amazon purchases without having to re-package them and print a shipping label, Kohl’s get the benefit for more foot traffic in its stores and Amazon could land more sales with the convenient returns. Partnerships and the omnichannel experience are what the future of customer experience is all about—working together and finding creative ways to make life easier for customers.

Grocery Chain Giant Eagle To Add Robots

Add another store to the growing list of retailers using robots. Grocery chain Giant Eagle is adding robots to its stores to track inventory in real time. The robots, named Tally, will scan the shelves to provide an accurate view of what items need to be restocked and send reports to store teams every 30 minutes. The robots are currently being tested in a few Giant Eagle stores. If the pilot goes well, the chain plans to expand Tally to every location.

Grocery stores are getting increasingly competitive, and customers are looking for stores to showcase innovative solutions. Finding that a product is out of stock is frustrating for customers, but the task of tracking every product in the store is overwhelming for humans. Robots are a fairly noninvasive way to provide real-time service and a good experience for customers.

Samsung Delays Galaxy Fold Over Breaking Screens

The latest member of Samsung’s Galaxy family will have a delayed arrival. The Galaxy Fold was supposed to launch on April 26, but Samsung is pushing back the release over reports that the screen breaks. The Galaxy Fold phone literally folds in half, but the technology that makes the phone so appealing could also be what is causing the screens to break. Samsung said it will investigate the issue and announce a new release date in the coming weeks. Samsung is giving customers who pre-ordered the phone a chance to cancel their order before it ships.

While delaying the release of a new device is bad press and frustrating for customers, it’s better to take care of the issue before putting dangerous phones into the hands of millions of customers. Samsung sent personalized emails to every person who had pre-ordered the phone and is giving customers advanced notice before the release. Although it isn’t a desirable outcome, Samsung is doing its best to salvage the customer experience.

Putting customers first means finding creative solutions to their problems and keeping them informed during the ups and downs of new products. These brands show that focusing on customers builds a strong and memorable experience.

Blake Morgan is a keynote speaker, futurist and author of two books, “The Customer Of The Future” and “More Is More.” Sign up for her weekly customer experience newsletter here.

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