Your customer experience roadmap out of COVID
Despite the new year beginning in familiar territory – lockdown – now is not the time for complacency, claims customer experience specialists Insight 6’s Richard Knight.
To ensure you’re offering the best to everyone who comes through your doors, it’s vital to understand the change in customer journey that has been happening in 2020.
It’s time to look again and think, ‘this is the situation now, what could potentially change again going into April as the weather improves and restrictions are relaxed – now is the time to be looking at which touchpoints could potentially be reopened and asking yourself, ‘how good were we on this pre-COVID?’
These things haven’t been lost forever, only put on hold, so you need to be ready for their reintroduction.
It’s all about journey mapping. When was the last time you stopped and mapped a journey that your customers take to purchase your products? Now is the time to do it
Consumer confidence is undoubtedly damaged. But the areas where it has taken the biggest hit, according to Insight 6 research, is in larger urban centres and busy retail hubs.
So, for retailers in more rural settings or quieter areas, any loss of confidence in busy shopping districts is a massive opportunity as we go into 2021, especially with the rise in popularity of the ‘shop local’ concept. But to make the most of that, there needs to be a focus on communication.
It’s about three things. Asking how people are feeling and acting on that feedback; displaying how you’re differentiating yourself from the multiples on customer safety; keeping those online channels of communication active.
If you’re getting tired of the coronavirus crisis, so are most people coming through your doors, so taking the time to ask how they are feeling and getting feedback on how their experience in your store has been is key to maintaining relationships and making positive changes.
We’re now in lockdown three and retailers are making assumptions; ‘people are used to it’, ‘it’s just another lockdown’, ‘everybody knows our safety setup and what we’re doing’. No, they don’t! Although your safety advice may be on social media, posts don’t last long in that fast-moving environment. Right now, safety information is what you could class as evergreen content. You’ve got that content, so re-post it!
But while you’re doing that, don’t lose sight of getting the personality of your business across online. Put out little videos, top tips, ‘this is what we’re doing in the shop today’, ‘this is what our new member of staff has been up to’ – because that little personalisation will drive people’s connection with you. From a customer experience point of view, emotional connection is paramount.
What is your goal for your customers? What do you want them to say, think and feel about your business this year?
When you’ve decided on that, share it with your team. This enables them to drive behaviours that generate great customer experience.
It’s difficult at the moment – the whole situation is quite draining and taxing on people, so are you asking your team how they feel? When they come into work, ask them how they’re doing and if they need any support from you as a business.
Great employee experience drives great customer experience.
And, finally, don’t neglect online reviews! 90% of consumers in the UK will look at online reviews before going to your shop or buying your produce. So, if you’re not checking them, or if you haven’t got any then you’re missing a trick.