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A customer experience specialist with over 15 years’ experience in operations and project management, Sebastien leads Critizr UK’s customer success strategy. Formerly a client partner at Satmetrix UK, he specialises in operational and technical aspects of the platform.
We are currently dealing with the biggest retail shake-up in a century. Lockdown, isolation and staying local have led to the emergence of new customer experience priorities, whether that’s safe store formats, more compassionate service or the stronger emotional ties forged between brands and consumers during the crisis.
For some businesses, the doors have been closed for almost three months; whereas others have had to rapidly adapt to keep essential stores open for the public. For both, there will be no return to operating ‘as normal’. A good example is online shopping. A recent study by Accenture showed that one in five people started food shopping online for the first time during lockdown. This demand has put increased stress on even the largest supermarkets and their service and capacity had to be quickly adapted. New processes for purchasing, payment, click and collect and delivery have had to be introduced to better serve consumers and respond to their new needs.
Remaining ahead of these changes is imperative for retailers. So it’s important not to overlook the importance and value of customer feedback. If you haven’t already done so, it’s critical to make changes to your questionnaires and adapt the way you listen to customers, to ensure surveys are not just insensitive noise, clogging up inboxes.
Customer’s experience is generally composed of three dimensions: efficiency, simplicity and emotion. The challenge for retailers post-lockdown is to ensure all three are maintained while adapting to new consumption patterns and preparing for further change ahead. It is more important than ever for retailers to listen to, re-engage and take the real-time pulse of customers, to ensure that the adapted experience they offer is meeting their expectations.
So how do you ensure customer feedback is relevant to the new customer journey? How can you make sure feedback is enabling your business to adapt and ensure customers feel safe and supported as they venture into the new shopping landscape?
The retail sector has seen changes in consumption patterns for several years, but the COVID-19 crisis has created a real break in purchasing habits and is driving long term change to consumption patterns and retail processes. Retailers are adapting and modifying their approach to respond to customers in the best possible way, and to do this they must view their business through the customer lens to truly understand what’s going on. Re-inventing customer satisfaction questionnaires must be part of this process - either adapting what you already have or creating new surveys. To drive the best results here are some tips:
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