Digital purchases and online orders for home deliveries were already on the up and up long before the CoronaVirus made its presence felt.
Social distancing has forced eateries to close dine-in services and traditional brick and mortar stores have also been forced to shut their outlets for the time being.
This upheaval has essentially turned traditional indicators for a good customer experience ineffective. For many companies, product experience as we know it has changed as well. There’s no getting around the fact that almost every encounter (right up to delivery, in the case of tangible goods) that a potential customer has with your product or service will now be digital.
While scientists are working tirelessly to ‘flatten the curve’ for Covid-19 infections, here’s what you should keep in mind to keep your business ahead of the curve:
Conduct customer experience surveys at each touchpoint
Your first interaction with your regular or potentially new customers is likely to be online. You need to make sure they have a positive interaction at any given touchpoint of your business.
Conducting regular customer experience surveys in the current scenario would give you insights into how well your services are holding up in such trying times.
There’s a possibility that the people you survey these days could be stressed. Conducting customer experience surveys via CATI would allow you to add a human touch to your surveys. CATI surveys are also proving to be better value for money as the lockdown coupled with social distancing has given rise to improved response rates.
Adaptive pricing could be key
With pay cuts, hiring freezes and cancelled appraisals globally in many industries, businesses and institutions – you’ve got to be cognizant about your product or services’ pricing. It’s value proposition before the global lockdown began may not carry through into the present.
You need to query your customers about pricing, and perhaps about what features they would be willing to live without.
This could be especially useful for services or products which have recurring payments. You need to ensure that customer retention won’t be a problem, and querying them on your products perceived value will likely deliver insights that can help your business weather this storm more effectively.
Your product experience can fundamentally change
We’ve talked about restaurants having to shift away from dine-in services. Now food delivery has been quite popular for a while now, and so the transition for them is a little more straightforward. However, there’s other verticals that rely on tangible experiences – hotels, art galleries, gyms etc. and they have a much bigger task at hand. Do you dig down, cut expenses and weather out this storm till revenue starts trickling in or do you diversify?
Airbnb, despite having had to lay off some of their workforce (Keeping a positive employee experience in mind, they did so in the most thoughtful manner, by building an employee talent directory to help their laid off employees find jobs easily), has diversified by offering its users the ability to undertake unique experiences from across the globe – virtually. This has allowed them to adapt their typical customer journey to today’s scenario.
If feasible, you should consider diversification as well, but you need to be sure this is something that your existing customers can get on board with. You might also need to conduct customer experience surveys to find out if users previously not associated with your brand may be willing to give your ideas a go.
Is your infrastructure up to the task?
Let’s say you’ve successfully managed to transition your business model online. You now need to ensure that the product experience your customers have come to expect of your brand carries through as well. Although it’s unreasonable to expect a 100% seamless transition you should still acquire customer feedback about their interactions at various touchpoints with your new operations – verify if the customer
Conducting customer experience surveys would likely fetch unique and actionable insights as everything from the sale itself, to the purchase experience right up to dealing with customer support is going to be subjected to a higher than usual amount of customer activity – even for businesses which were already online before lockdown.
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