In the retail industry, digital interactions aren’t a novel concept. Prior to the pandemic, online shopping had been on the rise, but it quickly became the norm as lockdowns swept the globe, eliminating or severely restricting the possibility of in-person purchases.
Most businesses took immediate action to meet consumer demand, with many brick-and-mortar stores launching or expanding their online presence. During this time, there were also a lot of new e-commerce businesses that emerged.
Now, many brands are questioning how to be relevant and competitive in the “new normal,” when digital interactions aren’t the only option on the table, as vaccine rollouts continue to proceed steadily across the globe.
How can organizations give the best possible customer experience (CX) by smoothly blending digital and in-person experiences?
Businesses must study how the pandemic shifted and altered how customers shop, among other things, in order to understand the customer buying behavior in the post-pandemic landscape. Enterprises should also be aware of the digital consumer behavior during the pandemic and its implications for retail businesses delivering customer experience post-pandemic.
Here are some significant insights and recommendations for brands on how to approach customer experience delivery in the “next normal.”
Customize the digital experiences
Everyone enjoys a personalized shopping experience that leads to them checking out with the right purchase, whether they are shopping in person or online. Personalization has helped various industry players achieve 20 to 30% gains in customer lifetime value across high-priority client segments, according to a 2020 McKinsey report.
Customers expect more from their online shopping experience, with the rapid advancement of next-generation technologies in many aspects of daily life.
The majority of consumers will consider personalized CX to be a standard offering, going forward. Brands that want to stand out from the crowd should learn to anticipate and respond to customer needs before they are voiced, and often even before customers are aware they have one.
Businesses should make sure that their technology and processes enable them to proactively discover opportunities to engage with customers, provide further information about a product or service they might be interested in, and create personalized offers to maintain customer loyalty.
Digital customer experience should not be devoid of empathy
Consumers are sending a strong message: what digital CX lacks in convenience and personalization, it should make up for in empathy.
Businesses can ensure empathic relationships in the future by finding the right balance in CX between digital and human. Chatbots, for example, are ideal for speedy responses. However, companies should always give them the option of speaking with a human agent.
Human agents can use technology to help them meet consumer demands in real-time, with speed and knowledge. For instance, machine learning and predictive forecasting can assist them to understand customer preferences and pain points in order to provide a personalized brand experience.
The “next normal” enables businesses and brands to continuously improve how they deliver the best customer experience to reflect changing customer behavior. The good news is that many businesses performed an excellent job of quickly adapting to meet consumer demands during the pandemic. Businesses can learn to adapt and evolve in real-time as they navigate the stages of global economic recovery with some regular oversight, innovation, investment, and the right partner.
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