How to stay customer-centric in a contactless world

Charlie Moore | Apr 9, 2020 Charlie Moore 04/09/20

While businesses adapt to the new normal created by COVID-19, it’s imperative to keep pace with a quickly evolving customer experience. As the expectations for low-contact or contactless shopping shift, your digital touchpoints need to hit the mark. Here are three things you can do today to ensure your brand is offering an optimal online customer experience.


Provide customers with intuitive ways to provide solicited + unsolicited feedback

Amid COVID-19 safety precautions, e-commerce might be the only option many shoppers have to purchase products—and customers deserve a user-friendly, frictionless experience. By offering outlets for consumers to provide your brand with solicited and unsolicited feedback regarding your digital touchpoints, you can gain real-time insights into what works and what doesn’t when it comes to your website or mobile app. The options for gathering this kind of feedback include:

feedback-icon-blueAn open-ended feedback tab: An always-on feedback tab gives customers the opportunity to tell you about their stellar and less-than-stellar experiences with certain processes, pages, or your site in general. Maybe a loyal, repeat customer is struggling to book a service online that they typically book in store, or a first-time user hits a roadblock while browsing on their mobile device. Whether positive or negative, unsolicited feedback goes the extra mile to answer the questions you hadn’t thought to ask and provide insight to issues you didn’t know existed.

 

contact-us-icon-blueDigital comment cards: To lessen the strain on customer care teams, your “Contact Us” page should have an intuitive feedback channel included. Brands can gain higher-level brand insights (as opposed to specific usability issues with the feedback tab) during a time that location-level feedback might not be feasible. These pages help centralize both negative and positive feedback and make it easier for customer care teams to prioritize customer engagement efforts.  

 

shopping-cart-icon-blueWebsite surveys: Intuitive site-intercept surveys nudge consumers for feedback during various stages of the purchasing or scheduling process. Brands can decide which pages or specific behaviors trigger the survey, allowing them to measure discrete, isolated experiences. By configuring survey invitation criteria to capture feedback and critical points in the digital journey, you can surface more targeted insights and design a user experience optimized for conversion at each step of the purchase decision funnel.

At a time when the purchase journey is low- to no-contact or entirely online, real-time feedback can help you get the information you need to provide a simpler, stress-free shopping experience for consumers.


Make sure your measurement strategy extends beyond the checkout

Speedy delivery has been a hot topic for years—but for many retailers, priorities have shifted amid the global pandemic. Even Amazon, a pioneer of the two-day delivery trend, is pushing out estimated delivery windows on non-essential items. Brands that typically compete with the retail giant for customers are now able to get products out faster—and they’re seizing the opportunity.

As online orders surge, it’s important to remember the digital experience doesn’t end at checkout. By gathering CX data surrounding the fulfillment process, brands can ensure there’s no drop-off in satisfaction regarding order delivery, pickup, or returns. Below are two in-practice examples of how clients have used fulfillment data to improve processes and customer satisfaction.

Exceed expectations with realistic shipping windows    

One retailer wanted to improve delivery satisfaction without exhausting the resources free two-day shipping would require. They used post-fulfillment CX data to learn:

  • Timeliness of Receiving Order was the top driver for Overall Satisfaction
  • Satisfaction was 21 ppts higher when customers were highly satisfied with information about shipping and delivery

The retailer wanted to improve communication and the perception of delivery timeliness in a cost-effective way. By simply implementing an estimated delivery window (i.e., Tuesday, 4/14/2020 – Friday 4/17/2020) instead of a specific date (i.e., Friday, 4/17/2020), they saw a spike in satisfaction with timeliness, a jump in online sales, and an increased online conversion rate. 

Enhance customer communications to resolve issues

In preparation for a busy holiday season, one retailer implemented a fulfillment process measurement strategy to pinpoint opportunities for improvement. Survey results showed many customers were experiencing issues, with late orders and lack of communication cited as the main culprits. Shoppers who made multiple orders found this especially problematic, as they had problems tracking their shipments separately. The retailer:

  • Batched multi-product orders for easier tracking
  • Brought email management in house
  • Introduced opt-in order updates via SMS + Facebook Messenger
  • Closely monitored order status update requests

These actions resulted in a positive increase regarding important KPIs like Communication of Order, Arrival of Order, Overall Satisfaction, and overall transaction volume. The brand also experienced a decrease in customers reporting a problem with their experience.

Whether you’re shipping out the crafts and video games to keep people entertained or the disinfectants to keep them healthy, it’s important to understand what customers are experiencing after purchasing from your digital touchpoints. The addition of post-fulfillment feedback to your CX data repertoire can help mitigate customer complaints and boost repeat purchases.


Use multi-source reporting tools to break down data silos

When moving services to digital touchpoints, implementing new capacity and sanitation precautions, or temporarily suspending in-store shopping, it’s likely you’ll receive both positive and negative feedback across multiple channels. Multi-source reporting tools can help brands get a holistic view of the customer experience as they navigate the operational adjustments required of them.

multi-source-image

The benefits of a multi-source CX data platform are more apparent during this shift in the consumer landscape. But even with the best reporting tools, internal resources are likely being strained as we adapt to circumstances that seem to change by the hour. By leveraging your experience management partner to assist whenever possible, you can get the insights and information you need. For example, SMG is partnering with clients to help by:

  • Offering a free 90-day pilot of feedback tab technology, allowing brands to collect data as in-store traffic shifts to digital channels
  • Updating text analytics libraries to trigger automatic alerts on coronavirus-related comments
  • Revising survey language and content to ensure client messaging conveys the appropriate level of empathy + concern

When customer experience solutions are spread across multiple platforms, it produces siloed data—forcing brands to spend precious time and resources juggling the feedback instead of solving customer issues and improving their experiences. A combination of expert professional services and a multi-source reporting platform can help uncover unique insights and make your jobs just a little easier as you work to provide a sense of comfort to customers during a global health crisis.


We’re here to help

Caring about your customers has never meant more—and as circumstances change and priorities shift, it’s important that brands do everything they can to provide a customer-centric experience. Check out our digital XM best practices and other COVID-19 resources, and please reach out if there’s anything we can do for your organization during this time.


Charlie Moore | GM, Digital + Contact Center Solutions

Customer Experience Update