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In this day and age of sky-high customer expectations amid an array of options, a CEO’s job is never done. Creating and sustaining memorable customer experiences that drive brand loyalty is a never-ending task.
At Bed Bath & Beyond, CEO Steven Temares is confident about his company’s new business model.
“We have adopted a new model that allows us to better identify, prioritize, resource, collaborate, and deliver against our ever-increasing technology road map,” Temares said during this week’s second-quarter earnings call. “We have recently hired a new Chief Information Officer and our first Chief Technology Officer, both of whom are now engaged to drive an improved companywide effort to ensure successful delivery of our initiatives.”
What’s more, Bed Bath & Beyond established a strategic portfolio management office, or SPMO, to better focus its resources and expedite results in areas company officials believe will provide the most significant benefits.
“Drawing together a cross-functional group of knowledgeable internal personnel and newly hired experts, these dedicated teams can move faster with better resources to create efficiencies, realized cost savings, and deliver on our future growth opportunities,” Temares said. “Through the efforts of the SPMO, we are building an integrated portfolio of strategic initiatives, which will provide increased focus on areas we have been working on to improve. We have launched four of them to date, which are internally referred to as customer service transformation, or CST, gross margin enhancement, inventory optimization, and supply chain.”
During the second quarter, Temares saw a continuation of early fiscal 2017 trends, specifically strong growth in the company’s customer-facing digital channels and increased softness in transactions in stores.
“As for retail generally, we know the way customers shop continues to change,” he added. “How they discover product, their expectations and knowledge around pricing and services offered, and how they share their thoughts about their shopping experiences are all changing rapidly. With this understanding, we’ve been evolving and, in some cases, transforming many aspects of our business to support our mission to be our customers’ first choice for the home and heartfelt life events. One significant undertaking has been the transformation of our information technology group, related business processes and our approach to developing, managing, and delivering technology solutions to meet the needs of our business.”
Evan Magliocca, brand marketing manager for Baesman Insights & Marketing, told Loyalty360 that one of retail’s biggest challenges is simply trying to keep up with technology and innovations.
“They change customer experiences, but they also have impacts on order management systems, marketing platforms, and a host of integrations,” Magliocca explained. “It sounds boring, but those back-end areas have a snowball effect on what the customer experience looks like. Bed Bath & Beyond is focused on improving those areas which should lead to faster technology delivery, a more efficient supply chain and overall a happier customer. So tell your UX teams if they want a better NPS score, everyone needs to take a look at logistics.”
Russ Haswell, VP, Retail, Medallia, offered his thoughts to Loyalty360.
“Companies that are succeeding in retail today are completely customer-obsessed, in every aspect of their business,” Haswell explained. “For Bed Bath & Beyond to change its trajectory, it must put the customer at the center of its strategy from technology that supports the customer journey to rapid in-store innovation creating ‘wow experiences’ driving repeat visits.”
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