Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) awarded Lands’ End, Macy’s, and Wells Fargo top honors for creating and sustaining a superior multichannel customer experience — one that is consistently good no matter what combination of channels, such as in-store, online, and self-service, customers use.
Announced last week at Forrester’s Consumer Forum in New York City, each firm received a Cross-Channel Experience or “XC” Award for projects that delivered meaningful user benefits, demonstrated a significant return to the company, or were large in scope.
Forrester received submissions from firms in the retail, travel, automotive, banking, consumer packaged goods, construction, and energy industries. Cross-channel projects submitted spanned Web, email, agent-based customer service, and in-store kiosks.
“Great experiences happen by design, not by accident,” said Harley Manning, principal analyst at Forrester. “Designing a great experience in even one channel is hard. When you try to do it for multiple channels, and be consistent across those channels, it’s almost impossible. But the winning entries are positive, practical examples that this can be done well. Other companies can learn from these examples and use what they learned — today.”
Cross-Channel Design At Its Best
Although no cross-channel experience is flawless, the projects developed by Lands’ End, Macy’s, and Wells Fargo kept user goals at the core of the design effort, ultimately raising the competitive stakes and reaping lucrative returns for each company.
Lands’ End created an integrated call center/Web site customer experience based on close collaboration between the company’s call center representatives and the landsend.com design teams. They developed user-friendly features like Lands’ End Live, which offers shoppers online service through phone conversation or chat. The result? Landsend.com is the most profitable and fastest-growing division of the Lands’ End business, which sells directly to customers through Web and catalog.
“What differentiates landsend.com from many eCommerce Web sites is our tight integration with our customer service call center organization,” said David White, landsend.com’s executive producer. “The feedback we receive results in the creation of features (My Virtual Model, pop-up size charts) that allow customers to quickly find what they are looking for, log off, and get back to their lives.”
Macy’s partnered with WeddingChannel.com to provide customers with the right choice of channels through its all-channel wedding registry. This registry allows engaged couples to create and update their wedding registry online, over the phone, or in person using a kiosk or working with a clerk. As a result, multichannel couples register for 60 percent more products than single-channel couples.
“Macy’s and WeddingChannel.com’s cross-channel bridal registry service is highly valuable to our time-stressed customers because we provide real-time, updated registries whether our consumers shop online or in the store,” said Kent Anderson, president of macys.com. “Our ‘Intelligent Alerts’ provide brides and grooms with personalized information about their registries to complement the advice consultants offer in stores,” added Adam Berger, CEO of WeddingChannel.com.
Wells Fargo wanted to facilitate choice and educate its customers through the creation of 2,000 in-store kiosks for online banking in retail store locations. Not only did the firm lower attrition rates for new customers by 33 percent, but it also saw a 200 percent lift in online banking activation rates from stores with online stations.
How Forrester Judged XC Awards Submissions
The XC Awards were based on open evaluation criteria grounded in Forrester’s body of user experience research, including hundreds of objective Web site and cross-channel reviews. More details about these awards are available at: Cross-Channel “XC” Award Winners Lead The Way.
Where To Learn More About Designing User Experiences
Forrester offers several User Experience Design & Evaluation services to help firms provide the best customer experiences across multiple interaction channels. For more information about Forrester’s User Experience research, services, and events, visit: www.forrester.com/User Experience.