Meeting customers’ needs in a post-pandemic world presents unforeseen challenges and opportunities. Those who succeed will find innovative ways to take advantage of both, while staying laser-focused on rebuilding consumer confidence. Here’s how to strengthen your relationship with the customer now.
Consumers have figured out how to do most of their shopping online. StatsCan reports online sales are up 110% year-over-year, and now make up 8% of everything sold in Canada. Have you figured out how to do most of your selling online? Plan to continuously improve your online presence.
Offer safe alternatives
Consumers are hooked on the convenience of safe delivery options that weren’t available pre-pandemic. Curbside delivery or buy online pick-up in store (BOPIS) are becoming expected. These services limit in-person contact, while creating a crucial link between your brand online and the in-person customer experience. Make sure it’s a memorable one.
Provide contactless payment methods
Once considered a convenience, contactless payments are now about safety. Consider paperless receipts to further limit contact, while offering an opportunity to build your email database and keep in touch with your customers.
Develop virtual experiences
With face-to-face opportunities to connect with customers dwindling, consider how you might use technology to add value. Online workshops or webinars can be used to demonstrate how to use nearly any product or service, via live events or recorded videos. Augmented reality and 3D modelling tools can help potential customers visualize size or scale of products, or facilitate at-home try-on. Investing in new capabilities now could help your business keep pace with changing market demands.
Create an ongoing feedback loop
Communicate with your customers on changes in product or service offering, hours of operation etc. as well as your brand philosophy. Demonstrate how you are caring for your customer, and your employees. Use email, social media and signage at physical locations to share updates and encourage clients to offer suggestions to improve the overall customer experience. Incorporate feedback into your business plan, where it makes sense, and share those user-generated innovations back to your loyal community. They’ll know you’re listening to their needs, and will continue to support you in the future.