Officials at Melissa Shoes know that customer experience and technology work hand in hand to promote brand loyalty.

Loyalty360 talked to Julian Trevino, Director of Retail & E-Commerce, U.S. & Caribbean, Melissa Shoes USA, to find out more about the company’s approach regarding customer experience/customer loyalty.

What specific insights/lessons have you learned in recent years that have informed your customer loyalty program/initiatives?

Trevino: We’ve learned that the customer experience must evolve with technology. Our customers are still excited to come into the store and interact with our teams, touch the product, and get the whole Melissa experience. We have also learned that our customers love a sense of community, which, in turn, helped us form a member program with our customers, that not only gives them access to exclusive benefits, but allows us to learn more about our customer.

How have your customers changed in recent years and how have you adapted to those changes?

Trevino: Our customers have become more tech savvy in recent years. They research product, and often come in knowing exactly what they want. (Social experiential technology firm) M-ND has helped a lot in that they can see how other people wear our products, which, in turn, can compel them to make a purchase. In addition, along with M-ND, we have had to adapt our POS technology to make the experience as seamless as possible, including accepting apple pay and mobile pos systems.

Can you talk about how technology aids your customer experience/customer engagement efforts?

Trevino: Technology is pivotal in the customer experience today as socially we have all become used to the conveniences that smart phones offer. As a result, the customer experience has to be experiential and seamless. We use mobile tablets in our stores which aid us in using our e-commerce platform and other visual aids in building the customer relationship. We can easily move around with our customers, place order on items we only carry online, and complete the checkout process while not needing to be stationary. We utilized M-ND in similar ways, attracting the customer to visual aids and the continuous stream of social media posts on our product.

What is the biggest challenge you face today as it relates to earning and maintaining brand loyalty?

Trevino: The biggest challenge we are facing today in earning and maintaining brand loyalty is the fact that customers demand more from their brands in today’s world. With access to so much information at our fingertips, customers want to be more aligned in their values with a brand’s values. For example, many of our customers love that we do not use leather in our products and that are products are 100 percent recyclable. However, this is not enough. Customers prefer to be informed deeper, and so we educate them on our sustainability practices, etc.

What is the most underrated part of your approach to customer engagement/customer experience?

Trevino: The most underrated part would be the fact that, at the end of the day, the customer that walks into a physical location still enjoys the 1-on-1 experience with a knowledgeable sales stylist. They enjoy the experience of touching the product, trying it on and seeing an entire collection together. In essence, the fact is, that for us, beyond any technology, our biggest asset is still our people, the client, and building a relationship with that client to get them to come back. 

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