Garreth is Evolve’s founder and Managing Director. Garreth’s passions are technology, buyer behaviour and organisational theory.
COVID-19 has changed the way we interact with our customers in the short term. Some aspects are likely to change permanently. Organizations have had to adjust their customer experience strategies to meet the needs of its customers by introducing home delivery options or creating a digital offering of their services. Given that it costs 5-25 times more money to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one, organizations need to focus on improving their customer experience strategy to keep their customers happy and loyal. Sometimes changing to new ways of buying can be difficult for customers and cause disorientation. It can be a potential trigger for competitor trial and defection.
Below we’ve outlined key success strategies for enhancing the customer experience in the post-pandemic world.
Have a constant pulse on your customers’ needs.
With increased unpredictability in the world, receiving regular feedback from customers has become more important than ever. Gathering feedback from customers not only builds trust, but provides you with the information you need to take immediate action. This process is key in driving customer satisfaction, as it demonstrates to your customers that you truly value what they have to say. This can be achieved at three levels:
- Transactions – one off, low effort touches e.g. check account balance, scheduled transactions etc. The transactions should be low effort with a focus on convenience and reliability
- Complex episodes – examples include becoming a customer, searching for products online and buying for pick up from store. Another example is a product return. These episodes need to be clear, have high levels of trust and provide opportunities to surprise and delight as a way to drive loyalty
- The culmination of transactions and episodes is expressed in your brand equity. We often talk about the ‘bank of goodwill’ where negative experience equate to a withdrawal and positive experiences make a deposit. At any point you can think of yourself having a positive or negative balance. Negative balances drive defection and loss of customers.
A great way to keep a pulse on your customers’ needs is with our HumanListening platform, which enables you to gather real-time insights from your customers. With our ease of use tools and automated dashboards, HumanListening allows you to gather and act on feedback quickly. You can set up monitoring projects on your key touchpoints establish who needs to get the results in real time and use our Action Connect tool to address opportunities to improve customer experiences.
Humanize your digital channels.
Nearly all businesses interact with their customers online at some point in the customer journey, particularly now. While having simple and efficient online tools is necessary, you must go the extra mile to make your digital tools more human. People may only be interacting with your business online now, so it’s important to embed human interactions into these online experiences.
One way in which we humanize our digital tools is with EVE, our AI-powered conversational engagement technology. EVE converses with customers and employees in a natural way, allowing them to bring up topics they wish to talk about. This not only helps you make better business decisions, but creates a better human experience for your customers. Think of EVE as an inversion of the usual chat bot experiences. Normally a chat bot is seeking to direct you to an outcome. EVE is designed to converse with shoppers and customers to understand what they were trying to do and understand their experiences. She delivers qualitative research at quantitative scale.
Customer experience strategies are constantly evolving as COVID-19 changes the way we do business. It’s essential to listen to your customers and ensure that they feel a real, human connection with your brand in order to keep them happy and loyal.