Andre Singer, General Manager at Terrapinn, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series to share his insight on the intersection of sales, marketing, and technology. The series, hosted by TechnologyAdvice’s Josh Bland, explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders.
In this episode we discuss cultural differences amongst customers, chip and pin technology, and the human aspect of customer data.
Below are a few highlights from our conversation:
TechnologyAdvice: What challenges are there right now in the customer experience industry, other than security, that are important to keep in mind for retail?
Andre Singer: In terms of customer experience, retailers are really trying hard to personalize the experience and make shopping and purchasing more convenient to their customers. There’s always a transition phase. One example everyone uses to make that simple and clear is customers who would go to their local grocery store so often, then after a few weeks and months and years they are treated very well.
The salesperson knows exactly what they want to buy and in what form, what shape, or what type. So that’s convenience for the customer. But online — and even when you’re using different in-store technology to improve the customer experience — in the beginning it can be a little creepy.
Then it’s just a matter of that shift happening and the customer having an understanding about how that’s becoming more convenient for them. So once you visit an ecommerce store, the exact products you’ve been looking for and different suggestions are going to show up . So there’s a transition phase and that’s going to take time.
But the real challenge at this point is how retailers, e-tailers, marketplaces, and other organizations can grasp that individual understanding of their customer’s profile, preferences, and needs in order to personalize the experience accordingly.
TA: What’s exciting you right now about Terrapinn’s upcoming conference?
Singer: America’s Customer Festival has been a great show from the very first edition. This is going to be the fifth annual event and it’s the first time we’re bringing the conference to New York. This is the mecca of consumer strategies, which is why we thought it would be interesting to move the event from Las Vegas where it catered to the west coast, and make it convenient for different executives to come to the event.
But we’re talking about New York, so everyone can come and align with other commitments that they have within their organization or with clients and partners.
What we’re very excited about with event this year is that we were able to confirm really key opinion leaders in the industry — such as the CEO of a groundbreaking loyalty coalition program from American Express called Plenti. They’re everywhere now and the CEO is going to talk about the benefit for brands that are part of the coalition — but mainly for the customers. Everyone has a loyalty program or is a member of a customer loyalty program in the US, so why hasn’t the coalition model really emerged until today? This is the first of its kind in the US. So Abeer Bhatia, the CEO from Plenti is going to join us.
We have three different tracks focusing on the fast and most innovative approaches in customer loyalty, in customer data analytics, and customer experience. This is really the only conference that gathers professionals and executives who handle strategies within the entire customer journey. We’re focusing from the very beginning where the customer is looking for a product up to post-shopping efforts and customer retention approaches from these organizations as well.
While there are other conferences that really focus on one of these areas and also bring some key opinion leaders, what’s exciting about America’s Customer Festival is that we provide the platform where the solution providers and other peers from the industry can really engage with the leaders and know what has been shaping the customers: the B2C market.
This podcast was created and published by TechnologyAdvice. Interview conducted by Josh Bland.[Image- Eurobase Fulfillment– Flickr]