Three Ways to Improve your Business’ Customer Experience in 2021

By Dani How

It goes without saying that 2020 was a year of particular global significance. Our personal lives, the economy, business practices and ways of staying connected all changed drastically. 

We adopted new technologies to stay connected to our families, friends and colleagues, and businesses had to quickly adjust to this new paradigm in order to operate effectively and remain top-of-mind with their customers. 

With pandemic restrictions constantly changing and set to continue in South Africa for the foreseeable future, companies in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern and Western Cape, and Gauteng will, unfortunately, have to deal with more uncertainty further into the year. 

Sadly, many companies had to close their doors last year, while others did well to survive the effects of the pandemic. However, the economic situation of most of the world, and here in South Africa, is far from being fixed. 

If businesses are to remain sustainable, they must innovate, adapt and overcome. The big question is, “how to do this in markets that have the lowest levels of consumer trust, perhaps ever?”

It lies in developing an outstanding customer experience!

Consumers are now interacting with even their most trusted brands in entirely new ways and now more than ever, people are seeking reassurance and authentic human connection. The customer experience therefore needs to be thorough with personalised communication to ensure that every interaction with customers is of a high standard – from the first marketing touchpoint to any post-sale activities.

With this in mind, here are some essential customer experience (CX) tips to keep your business ahead in 2021:

1. Be agile

There has been a surge in the advent of new social media channels, hygiene practices for physical brick-and-mortar stores and premises, communication channels for customer service departments and new demands from consumers. 

This year will continue to be a year that sees reactivity, even to risks and threats that businesses have not yet considered, or that are not yet apparent. Adapting and evolving the customer experience as and when required (and often, before such requirements are in place) will ensure improved levels of customer satisfaction and ultimately, brand loyalty.

2. Provide trust and a personalised service

Consumers’ way of thinking has been shaken, on just about everything. Brands need to build a trusting customer relationship, where those who work with and purchase from them, are able to feel secure, engaged, and important. 

Exactly what this means varies from industry to industry, but there is definitely an appetite for exceptional customer care to be provided as standard with a proactive, rather than reactive, approach, both online and in-store. 

3. Invest in a digital experience

Online shopping, gaming and home working have driven internet usage to unprecedented levels. The necessity for online activity over the past year has seen more people interact with brands online than ever before. 

It is crucial that brands invest in developing an efficient and suitable digital experience that meets (and strives to exceed) customer’s expectations online. With 84% of global consumers using digital channels more frequently than ever before, businesses who do not move to adequate digital offerings will see their customer base seek those offerings elsewhere.

It is a new year, but now is not the time to rest. Proactivity will be valued over reactivity and agile movement and rapid adaptability is the key to any company’s survival in 2021. Customer experience is becoming a make-or-break feature for brands and if they cannot keep up the pace, well…unfortunately we know where that story ends. 

So, whether your business is still reacting to the changes, or seeking proactive solutions for what may be on the horizon, hoola is here to help.  

We are a strategic brand, advertising and design agency based in Durban, Port Elizabeth and George; partnering with clients in Sub-saharan Africa, and locally in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Western Cape. 

For more information on our services, click here

We look forward to hoola-ing with you in 2021.

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