“What was your last shopping experience like?” I raised this question in my non-CX expert bubble. Can you guess what the most common answer was…?
If your answer has something to do with how it made them feel, you are right. About 2/3 of the answers included words like “made me nervous”, “felt excited”, “disappointed” and “satisfied”. Emotions! This is at the heart of what CX is really about.
CX is how you make your customers feel during – and after – they interact with you.
This is regardless of whether the interaction is online, offline or omni-channel.
Think about your last shopping experience. Mine was online grocery shopping. The number of online grocery retailers is increasing, yet if I look at the scope of a weekly shop I still see no more than 3-4 relevant options. I’ve tried them all. And how did I feel? Hmmm. I’m happy to do it only once a week.
Imagine that you want to buy a kilo of bananas. You need 20 clicks minimum to get them to your front door. Adding additional items to your basket requires a minimum of 4, but likely as much as 6-8 further clicks depending on the number of items you want of the same product. Sounds wrong? Yes, it is.
What makes CX great?
So let’s check out how these retailers would look from a CX perspective! There are a number of differentiators that make for great CX, but there are 5 common parameters you can use to help track and measure it.
How easy, fast and convenient was the customer journey? This isn’t about the act of shopping in isolation itself, but about the entire process that sits within your circle of influence as a brand. If you are looking for a metric to measure this, I would suggest using the CES (Customer Effort Score), complemented by qualitative customer feedback to provide insight into issues. Going back to my online grocery experience, the shopping itself requires more or less a similar amount of time as doing it in person – unless I happen to want to buy the very same products every week. It is neither as fast nor easy as I would expect.
If you carefully read my last sentence, you may have noticed the use of the word “expect”. Each customer has their own expectations and it is up to us as a brand to manage and/or meet them. It includes clearly communicating offers, key terms of service relevant to customers, and delivering on our promises. This has a lot to do with the core values we, as a brand, stand for. Online grocery stores tend to promote themselves as being a fast, safe, and reliable alternative to physical stores. However, this is often not the case. What upsets me the most is ordering 30 items yet, without warning, receiving only 23 of them – typically missing the ones I need most. This is a clear factor impacting and diluting the whole CX.
Provide customers with traceable information, not only during the shopping experience itself but during the whole process, including delivery, payment, returns, exchanges, and more. Prioritize areas you know are weaker. For example, if you are aware that shipping drags your CX score down focus on this. And how are online grocery retailers doing in this regard? Well, in my experience those using their own shipping service currently have an advantage over those relying on 3rd parties. But using an external provider is no excuse for doing it badly.
It requires a lot of empathy to be able to flex your offer, processes, and communication to meet the needs of your not-very-homogenous customers. And no, it doesn’t mean bombarding them with personalized emails. Honestly, this is a minefield and there are only a handful of brands that get it right. It requires true work with data, ideally engaging machine learning and AI. Putting yourself in the shoes of your customers, thinking with their heads and hearts, is a must. I truly love it when I feel like a brand is talking directly to me. I love it when they are able to add true value. Apart from allowing me to re-order my previous shopping basket, most grocery retailers’ ambitions currently stop here.
In an ideal world, your brand can predict a range of problems your customers may encounter during their journey. Taking a proactive approach in mitigating or solving them will naturally be appreciated by your customers. You cannot take this for granted. If this is not possible for any reason, fast and professional recovery of customer issues notably improves CX. In my opinion, online grocery stores are delivering extremely well on this by not disputing missing or low-quality items reported, offering replacements, and often immediate shopping credit as compensation.
All in all, online grocery delivery still has a long way to go in order to achieve amazing CX. That being said, far from being focused on familiarizing yourself with the online grocery industry, we hope this case study provided an opportunity for a relatable impression of what CX is and the key aspects that impact most on your customers.
If you found this article helpful stay tuned as there is more to come, including hot tips and tricks to get CX right!
Or check out my LinkedIn >