What do you get when you combine Walmart’s low prices with smart merchandising and good service? Trouble for competitors. And Walmart’s Project Impact is aimed at doing just that.
According to Walmart’s Northeast general manager:
We’ve listened to our customers, and they want an easier shopping experience. We’ve brightened up the stores and opened things up to make it more navigable.
Here’s an example of Walmart’s new store experience:
My take: There’s no reason for companies to make trade-offs between low prices and good in-store experiences (or good experiences in other channels like the Web and the phone). That’s the core premise of the post My Manifesto: Great Customer Experience Is Free.
When companies focus on their target customers, it becomes very clear that customer experience is not an optional ingredient. But that doesn’t mean that Walmart or any other retailer should replicate the experience model of Nordstrom’s or even Michael’s Crafts. The key is to understand what your customers’ need and want.
Employees are also a critical component of customer experience. As I’ve discuss in my eBook The 6 Laws Of Customer Experience: Unengaged employees don’t create engaged customers. That’s why every one-tenth-of-a-point increase in employee engagement at a Best Buy store increases it profits by $100,000 a year.
Is there a blueprint for getting this right? Yes. Experience-Based Differentiation.
The bottom line: Customers notice when you neglect their experience.