COVID-19 has changed us. Many of us might not even notice it, but our expectations when it comes to purchasing goods and services has drastically shifted. Research is just beginning to nail down how customer expectations have shifted as a result of the coronavirus. Organisations need to carefully analyse and act upon this information in order to thrive amid the new normal.
We know for a fact that customers have strong feelings about their experiences. Decades of business has taught us that customers always cared about how they are treated, and that they will voice both their love and hate, be it in person or online.
Companies must tread carefully now that the coronavirus has shifted attitudes the world over. The last few months have challenged consumers and brands like never before, forcing them to understand and face a new reality. In this quickly changing world, customer experience is truly one of the only ways for brands to stay competitive within their industries.
Here are a few key areas where expectations have changed – and where companies should place focus on.
The best experience wins
Cutting corners on the customer experience is a no-go. It is the area in which organisations can get a head-start on the competition and regain ground that was lost due to the pandemic.
According to Sitel Group’s COVID-19: the CX Impact study almost 40 percent of customers said they’d pay more for a product or service if they’d get a superior experience. And nearly 75 percent of customers say they’d quit a company after just one bad experience.
The pandemic has heavily shifted consumer preference towards online shopping. Many of these customers are expected to stick with online shopping even post-pandemic. Businesses should create more one-click or auto-fill experiences for purchasing on their sites. Also feature complementary items or services you know customers will need with products they order on each product page. This will help streamline the experience and reduce the risk of cart abandonment.
Keep engaging online
Email and social media are the real winners when it came to keeping in contact with customers during the pandemic. While it is still important to be ready to answer the phone, polishing up ones writing skills and tact is absolutely crucial in today’s digital age. Customers still want that personal connection, so convey it through words on social media or with email.
Do not dogpile on the app
One surprising change from the coronavirus is that customers placed mobile apps as their least favourite – or likely – place to connect with companies. This doesn’t mean apps are dead. Many large organisations still have success with apps when they’re engaging to customers. This simply means that less focus should be poured into apps and more should be placed on a strong, responsive, and responsible social media presence.
Keep it real
Customers still want a human connection when dealing with a company; perhaps even more in today’s economic climate. hey need to know there’s a person behind the email, social media messaging and chat. Providing a human connection is most essential when customers face a critical issue. Listen, watch and monitor automated experiences for language that indicates a critical issue, and create alerts for people to lean in and give personal help, if it’s not already happening.