How To Win Customer Satisfaction During The COVID-19 Outbreak

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WHY IS CUSTOMER SATISFACTION IMPORTANT?

Customer satisfaction measures how satisfied a customer is with a product, experience, or service. Measuring customer satisfaction is crucial as it helps businesses understand what they need to do to retain customers for long-term business growth. With a repeat customer spending 67% more than a new customer, it shows that retention rather than acquisition is the key to a sustainable business.

WHAT DRIVES CUSTOMERS INTO SATISFACTION?

57% of customers have stopped buying from a company because a competitor provided a better experience. This statistic demonstrates that if a business does not make sure that the experience of their brand is consistently positive across all online and offline channels, customers will not stick around. You will also keep customers satisfied if you can create a product that meets their unique needs. To understand a customer’s needs, you need to analyze data collected using a variety of ways such as focus groups, social listening or customer feedback surveys.

As well as improving loyalty, these consumer insights will help you create a more agile customer experience team where prevention is better than cure. Companies also need to be transparent about their usage of data in their data policies and proactive about the value they can offer in exchange for it if they crave more satisfied customers. All in all, improved customer satisfaction comes from being human in your approach towards customers by catering to their wishes.

WHAT PROBLEMS DO E-COMMERCE BRANDS FACE A RESULT OF CORONAVIRUS?

Since COVID-19 began, US eCommerce sales grew by 49%. While various brands have reacted to this trend by shifting their focus online, they will still face supply chain and inventory issues. This figure is worrying as 40.55% of consumers have said that they would turn to less familiar brands as options if products are unavailable.

B2B Companies like MSC Industrial Supply Co. have prioritized the orders of existing customers over new customers to resolve fulfillment issues. At the same time, Amazon had to delay nonessential items in the US by up to a month. But while these strategies can work in the short-term, how can brands win customer satisfaction in the long-term?

REDEFINE YOUR CX DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY TO WIN CUSTOMER SATISFACTION IN 5 STEPS

STAY CONNECTED WITH CUSTOMERS ONLINE

With more people spending more time on social media due to COVID-19, it is vital for brands to use social media to connect with customers. According to Global Web Index, 68% of individuals feel that companies on social media during this time should focus on helping people during the outbreak while 81% believe that they should run promotions, offers or loyalty perks for customers.

Michelin-star chef Massimo Bottura and bands like Coldplay have started treating followers to free cooking classes and concerts. Other brands like Kroger have shown its appreciation for employees online by allowing a more significant number of them to get free access to coronavirus testing.

BUILD CUSTOMER LOYALTY

All brands strive to improve customer loyalty as individuals who are loyal buy more products and are also willing to pay more than those who have never purchased from your brand. Customers who are loyal to your brand are also more likely to spread the good word amongst others.

When building customer loyalty, you need to understand what your customers find valuable. Value isn’t merely about pricing; consumers also want to buy from businesses they like and who they believe share their values. For instance, The North Face provides value to its loyal customers with its easy-to-use points-based app where participants can manage their account, check their point status and redeem rewards. As the app is available through a digital medium, it will also be easier to change as and when the consumer requires it. In addition to giving away rewards and VIP benefits, the Body Shop has incorporated its business values into its loyalty programme by encouraging customers to donate their rewards to World Land Trust. This feature fits in with its commitment to benefit the planet and enables a deeper emotional connection with its customers.

Apart from using initiatives like the above to build loyalty, brands can also focus on displaying care and concern in a Covid-19 world. For example, Humana has adopted AI to help their customer service team analyze the tone of the customer during calls so that they can assist them better. In this way, Humana is also building an agile customer experience platform as they can use their employees for regular insights of their customers.

SUPPORT YOUR CUSTOMER AND TRACK THEIR SATISFACTION

54% of customers have higher expectations for customer service today compared to one year ago. To deliver an impeccable end-to-end experience for customers during and post-COVID-19, brands not only need to support customers through social media but, also by listening.

Businesses can measure customer satisfaction or a customer’s experience during this time by using surveys like the Net Promoter Score (NPS). This test asks customers how likely they would be to recommend their business to someone else while a Customer Effort Score (CES) also allows a brand to examine how easy it was for the customer to have their issue resolved. Furthermore, you could also use sentiment analysis to monitor trends among your customers.

During this time, some businesses might also benefit from monitoring their customer service team through keeping track of their average resolution and their first contact resolution time. Rather than using only old-school surveys, other organizations got more creative with their feedback efforts. For instance, Alaska Airlines uses a visual and personal survey to encourage customers to voluntarily give their opinions. In this way, customer feedback can help you train your company to support customers more effectively.

IMPROVE YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN

COVID-19 will cause more pressure on retailers, suppliers and the wider supply chain as they try to give customers faster, cheaper delivery experience. While technology can automate fulfilment systems in the long-term, smaller e-commerce stores cannot be expected to produce a fully automated warehouse at short notice. If Amazon needed to hire 100,000 additional humans to work in fulfilment centres, it shows that automation cannot solve supply chain demand immediately.

Instead, to meet these fulfilment customer expectations, brands can repurpose their nearby stores for e-commerce. Stores like Target are using the store nearest to the customer as the main fulfilment centre, which allows same-day services like pickup and drive-up. Brands that do not have stores or need to increase their fulfilment capacity temporarily can team up with a fulfilment partner. For instance, when used with Shopify, you can automate fulfilment and inventory management as it tracks how much stock you have available and sends you alerts when you need to re-order stock for your store. Businesses should also keep into contact with manufacturers so that if certain products go out of stock, you can update your product pages.

BETTER YOUR ON-SITE EXPERIENCE

Did you know that users only take 0.05 seconds to form an opinion about your website? This figure means that the on-site experience is judged severely and will determine whether customers will continue visiting your site to buy your products. To improve the on-site experience, brands can start making it easier for customers to navigate their website. Design agency Punk Avenue does this well with a navigation bar at the top of the screen that also contains a short description of what users will find under each heading.

They also have a clear, simple message of what they can do for clients complete with a secondary navigation menu that displays examples of what they can do for their customers.

The checkout experience also needs to be simple so that forms are easy to fill in. Don’t force users to register, remove hidden costs and remind customers that this is a secure transaction. For example, boohoo provides a seamless checkout experience with a clear order summary that includes discounts as well as shipping, progress indicators so that the customer knows where they are in the process, access to customer support at the top, a guest checkout and security assurance.

Boost customer satisfaction rates with customer reviews that give legitimacy to your products and services. In addition to its use of reviews, Ban.Do also has a third-party service called Afterpay, which allows customers to pay in instalments. Their product descriptions are also written in line with their brand voice.

Additionally, as well as subtly cross-selling products with their ‘We Think You’ll Like These’ section, they offer free additions that complement the product you will purchase. Their website also highlights their expertise by showcasing the experts they collaborate with to create their products.

CONCLUSION

Brands can satisfy customers in a COVID-19 world by providing them with a robust user experience at every stage of their journey. As more customers venture online due to social distancing measures brands will have to get more creative when connecting with customers online, building loyalty as well as delivering outstanding customer service and an on-site experience to stand out.

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