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Ecco Experience Repeats Key Lessons in Good Data Use

Many times, delivering the best data-driven consumer experience is simply a matter of enabling workers to tee up with the right information.

This is the case whether selling luxury hotel stays or pairs of shoes. The difference between a blasé customer experience and a memorable one – one that actually results in a higher sales receipt – is a matter of whether the frontline staff can appreciate the customer’s history with the brand.

I witnessed this difference recently, on a visit to a local Ecco shoe store. I had come there for a pair of golf shoes, but left with a great “data-based” experience, thanks to Irina the sales associate.

My needs were straightforward – golf shoes that were comfortable while functional. And since Ecco provides both in spades, we had no problem finding a pair that suits my needs on the links.

During checkout, Irina asked if I had waterproofing spray for the shoes, because it would be a good idea to protect my investment. I told her I was pretty sure I had some at home, but apparently neither of us was convinced.

Recognizing the opportunity to elevate her service, Irina asked if I had shopped with Ecco before. I had, so there were no qualms about giving her my phone number when she requested it. In fact, a little voice in my head whispered, “Aha! Database,” and I was eager to see what she’d find.

After a moment Irina turned to me and said, “You have purchased the shoe cleaner and the polish, but not the waterproofing spray. You won’t have it at home, so can I add that to your purchase today if you’d like.”

Wow, she was right. So now my shoes don’t leak and I have a very upbeat association with shopping at Ecco, thanks to its philosophy of enabling its front line staff to act on its data. And as a kicker, Ecco is $14 better for the experience.

I believe that most employees would embrace the opportunity to make the customer experience better. But it is up to the employer to provide them the necessary tools to do so, and this includes the kinds of data that show the customers’ purchase patterns and preferences.

Thanks, Irina, for executing on the plan.

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