By Dora Bock, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Auburn University’s Harbert College of Business
Why interpersonal relationships are critical for a superior customer experience.
With headlines frequently mentioning the “retail apocalypse,” some traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are panicking. But despite these disturbing and attention-grabbing headlines, traditional retailing certainly is not dead. While online shopping is indeed growing, the majority of retail sales are still in stores, which should signal to retailers that the in-store customer experience is now more important than ever. Customers often shop with specific retailers because of their emotional attachment to the brand or because of the emotions they feel when shopping in a store. Gratitude — one emotion that can be elicited within the customer experience — is critical to building authentic, reciprocal, long-term customer relationships.