In Conversation: Kogan At The ORIAS

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By Published On: August 1, 20180 Comments

After the announcement of his quarterly results and his share price drop last week, Ruslan Kogan sat down at the ORIAS to discuss all things

As players in the retail industry, we all have an understanding that knowing your customer and their behaviours can be critical to the development and success of your business. What makes them tick? What advertising and marketing strategies are going to bring your customer back to you every time? What sets your business apart from the others?

At the ORIAS last week, Kogan sat down to talk about the customer experience and the importance of tailoring it to your customer. Kogan attests that the most important factor across any business is the customer experience! Because in its simplest form, “if you don’t’ have customers, you don’t have a business.”

Kogan contends, “Everything needs to be focused on the customer.” This focus, is not always an easy feat for businesses due to the ambiguity that exists in this space and the fine line between really putting your customers first and making money. “You will have a business that is buying something for $80 and selling it for $100 and they say, ‘we put our customer first.’ Well no, that’s not putting your customer first. Putting your customer first would be buying it for $80 and selling it for $60,” as Kogan puts it. As businesses, it is important that the line between really putting your customers first, and actually being able to turn a profit is met. How this looks for every business will be different.

The way in which businesses manage the customer experience varies greatly, and often this can provide customers with the same or very similar levels of satisfaction. Kogan described the different customer experiences at Apple and at Aldi. Take Apple, for example, where you can walk into any store, in any city and about five people ask you if you need help, and not in an annoying way. As Kogan pointed out in his Q & A by a raise of hands, a majority of people had been to the Genius Bar less than 5 times. Apple spends its money on physical bodies that can be seen when you walk into the store and are available for the customer.

Aldi on the other hand provides a different customer experience. If you decide to shop at Aldi, you will be required to pack your own bags. So why did Aldi recently win the title of the most trusted brand in Australia, when their customer service model seems to vary so much to what we are used to? “The reason they are such a great business is due to their honesty. They ask, what’s more important to you, the customer? The price of the products, or having someone back your bags?”

This honesty is critical, and shoppers are not disappointed when they shop at Aldi and realise that they will need to pack their own bags. Because that is not why they go to Aldi. Kogan stresses the importance of knowing your business and staying true to this to achieve customer satisfaction, “You need to be completely honest with your customer proposition and you need to know exactly what value you provide and build everything around this. Like I’m saying, different for different brands.”

So what sets Kogan apart? How do they drive their success through their customer satisfaction? “At Kogan, we are a price leader through digital efficiency,” Kogan explains. “Everything is about how do we provide better value and better price to our customers? How do we automate every single element of the process? All the way from sourcing, through to supply chain, through to the delivery and customer correspondence. And that’s our duty to our customer.”

Every retailer and business’ duty to their customer will be different, but the key is in identifying what this duty is and then being able and willing to accommodate to this in your business.


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