Over the past few months, the notion of customer experience and what that means has been upended by COVID-19. Simple events like a trip to the store or going out to eat have become filled with unique challenges. These challenges have impacted everything from consumer trust to how to handle contactless operations, as well as automation.
Customer experience is built on consumer trust. Customers buy into brands that can demonstrate their efforts towards keeping consumers safe as well as satisfied. This an important issue for companies to address as the loss of this trust can be devastating. This was highlighted in a study by Eldeman Trust Barometer, who found that 71% say if they perceive that a brand is putting profit over people, they will lose trust in that brand forever.
Customer contact or a lack thereof is another area where businesses have been impacted by COVID-19. Having the ability to offer contactless payment options and operate effective curbside and contactless delivery will be important differentiators for customer experience.
Luckily for businesses, consumers find contactless payments an easy, convenient, and most importantly, safe way of doing business. In a blog from the National Retail Federation, Richard Crone, CEO of Crone Consulting, said “the use of contactless payments have grown by 20% since the beginning of the pandemic.”
Contactless delivery and curbside pickup has also become increasingly popular with grocery stores, restaurants, and retailers. These contactless options are now ‘must have’ as a way to limit human interaction and minimizes congestion in stores.
Automation is a development that is picking up steam, especially for businesses that revolve around customer experience. Many companies have ramped up the development of robots and are looking for ways to automate processes in order to lessen the need for human contact. From hotels, to banks, to burgers joints, automation is a trend that is getting more attention.
As we learn to live in our “new normal,” businesses are working to innovate and improve the quality and efficiency of their services all while keeping their customers safe. Businesses who can adapt and who consistently measure their progress, while keeping a focus on safety for customers and employees will be in a better position to not only survive but thrive during this pandemic.
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