The Coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed the way customers find the products they are looking for. In order to keep up, businesses need to adapt. The CX of a brand has been a significant factor in generating repeat business for quite some time, and so it’s no surprise that businesses with poor CX flounder while the competition gets the goods.
Fear has pushed customers online
While the trend of consumers looking to the digital marketplace isn’t new, the widespread societal impacts of the pandemic have acted like gasoline to a fire. In a survey published by Bloomberg, only 54% said they will be comfortable returning to brick and mortar shopping for groceries.
The same survey finds that only 33% of shoppers will be comfortable returning to malls when the pandemic is over. This means the majority of the market is now in a digital space, and so to survive, every business needs to invest in its digital CX.
Customers expect a smooth transition between platforms, and prompt and effective customer support when they ask for it. According to MarTech Series, 87% of customers expect companies to have a consistent CX across all platforms. That means your mobile app needs to seamlessly flow to your website, and on to a live agent should the customer need help with their order.
Be the diamond in the rough
Retailers need to do more than just meet the bare minimum in order to retain their market share, and those who fail to meet the challenges will face a steep climb back in after the dust settles. The Advertising Research Foundation suggests it could take as many as 5 years for businesses that go dark to get back to where they were in the market. With the unprecedented level of uncertainty gripping global markets, that’s a risk most can’t afford to take.
Things like contactless delivery and prompt, personalized responses to customer queries are now the baseline of what businesses need to provide in order to stay in business.
To really stand out, your platforms need to offer stable, reliable support for the customer. That means that the first place to invest in your digital CX should be your IT systems. Any downtime of a digital platform will have direct impacts on your productivity and creates a negative experience that will hamper your growth.
The customers at the center of your universe
With digital infrastructure making the market less tangible, it can be hard to remember that customers are people with communities. Regardless if you are B2B or B2C, your customers talk to one another. By designing your digital platforms to improve the experiences of our customers, we create growth opportunities.
When surveyed, 86% of customers said they would be more likely to repurchase from the same company. That means making sure your digital CX is seamless is essential if you want to build brand loyalty and foster retention. With as little as 5% improvement in your retention rates, you will see between 25-100% increase in profit.
More importantly, the same report shows that 77% of customers with just one good experience will recommend your business to other people. That means your CX will be a major factor in spreading your brand by word-of-mouth. In a digital age, the oldest types of marketing can give you an edge over your competition.
How do you build a customer-centric universe?
- One way to ensure you keep the CX tending toward excellence while simplifying your inventory management and logistics is investing in omnichannel support platforms that allow for seamless integration of your digital platforms.
- Statistics show that a little more than 50% of people are browsing on their mobile devices than any other tech, so optimizing your mobile site experience helps meet the customer where they’re scrolling.
- Keep your content and layout as simple as possible. People spend an average of 15 seconds on any given web page, meaning you need to help them find what they are looking for in less than that time.
- Less really is more. Customers will be overwhelmed if you offer them too many options, which contributes to abandonment rates and will impact your sales. Conversely, sites with fewer options can see as much as a 600% increase in sales, according to social Triggers.com.
- Personalizing your CX will help the customer feel valued. Customers are 80% more likely to do business with you if they have a personalized experience. Without investing in digital CX, you will simply not have the tools to provide this.
- Artificial Intelligence is still an emerging tool for customer service, but you need to use it properly. A 2019 survey found that 86% of customers still prefer speaking to a human being to deal with customer service queries, so good CX still demands a human touch. That doesn’t mean you can’t simplify the process by using AI to connect your customer with the right person.
- Develop SEO content that answers questions people type into search engines. This will grow your audience, and add value for your customer base. The right approach for your business will be determined by how you plot out your Buyer’s Journey.
What the future holds
The data is still coming on one all the ways the pandemic has changed global and domestic markets. With so much uncertainty, it is difficult to set out an effective plan to stand out in a rapidly digital marketplace. What is clear is that those who do not adapt to this new online reality will be left in the past.
When you are laying out your digital CX strategy, you should be reviewing your IT systems and the available data you have on your customers. Use this to find the simplest funnel from the search engine to the checkout to make sure you don’t lose sales, and to help your customers feel valued by your brand.
When the pandemic is over, “business as usual” will not look the same as it did before. CX is the best vehicle to help you adapt to this new world. Those who don’t invest in digital systems now won’t matter then.
Mikkel Andreassen is passionate about customer experience in every color of the beautiful customer engagement spectrum. He loves building great connections with his customers, which often lead to meaningful friendships that last a lifetime and inspire his work. Driven by the genuine belief that CX is the pivotal force that drives a successful business, he is currently at the helm of Dixa’s customer experience strategy.
Twitter handle: @MikkelVes