Turn CX into your biggest Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer
In the post-Covid-era of the pandemic supply chain shortages and shipping delays, consumers have learned – the hard way – to plan ahead of their holidays, projecting around 50 percent of holiday shopping is done before November 29th. Like last year, retail experts predict that consumers will continue to shop for their needs rather than their wants.
The key differentiator between Black Friday and Cyber Monday
New consumer trends aside, this hasn’t stopped retailers around the world from getting ready for their Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions.
Consumers feast for many, but, on the other hand, one cannot neglect that many shoppers feel intimidated by the sheer number of sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
A fact that might be proven as a great stepping stone for businesses that are looking for that key differentiator that would help them to stand out from their competition, that could be nothing less than a solid, uncompromised Customer Experience amid the Black Friday and Cyber Monday chaos.
Making things personal
Keeping CX at the top of mind, retailers and brands should focus on aspects such as segmentation and personalization, as well as the best possible facilitation of their customers along their BF and CM customer journey
An insightful return policy on BF/CM purchases could also be in the right direction, making consumers feel they are in the hands of verified experts that are there for them.
Making both of those days as easy and as personal, while providing a seamless customer experience, will be what sets brands apart this year on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, ensuring that relevant and timely interactions with consumers should not take a back seat to the actual deals themselves. Online retailers will set themselves apart by providing omnichannel CX customer solutions. This can be as simple as allowing consumers to “co-browse” (providing more detailed product information and images) and incorporating more online chat and SMS tools to answer questions immediately.
“When brands remember and invest in the experience of the customer during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, they will have happy and satisfied customers.”
The goal should be how to retain and have repeat customers on many occasions — not just during this one special week of sales.
How to keep your CX intact on Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
Having a look into the biggest challenges customers face during BF and CM, will give you the pain points your business should address to safeguard a good CX for your customers.
So, here’s a priority list of the things that were most annoying for customers that made their customer journey on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
On top of the list were long waiting times, poor customer service, and product availability, while pricing, staff friendliness, and product offering were to follow.
To make sure that you can keep your customers happy on demanding days such as these, here are 6 tips to set up your retail stores for success:
1. Make sure that your frontline is up for the challenge.
This is the first question you need to ask yourself, is your customer-facing staff ready to handle a dramatically increased number of customers? The challenge here is across the customer journey, making sure that each customer is acknowledged and accommodated while making the purchase and the checkout as seamlessly as possible.
Make no mistake, being competitive is no longer a question about price or product, rather than offering the right Customer Experience, as the key differentiator between brands.
An added value to your customer-facing staff should be to guide customers into discovering additional products so that they can get the most out of their purchase, something that will surely increase customer satisfaction, build trust, and make shoppers want to keep coming back to your store. It’s good to know that almost half of your customers are most likely to make impulse purchases after a great experience.
2. Get ready for increased demand.
Make sure that your products are within easy reach, and also promote high-profit items so they stand out, addressing at the same time specific areas that need improvements well before Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
You also need to ensure your website is fully functional and can handle increased demand, as an interruption of service will most likely do great damage to your business; don’t forget that, as most interactions are nowadays being made through smartphones, your site should also be mobile responsive and adaptive, so test how your store looks on mobile, and ensure it’s easy and intuitive for users to make purchases.
3. Be ready for the worst…literally!
Are you sure you can be prepared for any tough situations that could arise this Black Friday? Think of everything that could go wrong and create contingency plans on shipping, inventory system failures, and many other issues that might arise.
4. Listen to your customers about their experience.
Get your customers’ feedback on their experience; turning their feedback into actionable changes will help you build trust and promote customer loyalty. A happy customer is the best news for you, but it’s sometimes better to have unhappy customers knowing why than it is to stay in the dark. Dissatisfied customers can teach you a lot about how to improve your retail business.
If you don’t ask your customers how they feel about your retail business, you’ll never find out. Show that you truly care about their experiences by asking for feedback.
A poor in-store experience will frustrate your customers. What makes matters worse is not giving them an easy way to share their feelings.
“Unhappy customers typically talk to about 15 people about their experience, so you need to know what they’re saying to make the necessary changes.”
Only by gathering meaningful feedback will you be able to discover what you’re doing well and where there’s room for improvement.
5. Grow your business on customer feedback.
Collecting customer feedback without acting on it, could mean that the data is for your organization to analyze and employ, and at the same, it shows your customers that you don’t really care what they think. Do your best to integrate real-time feedback into your processes, so that you can instantly act upon the results to fuel your business growth. Sharing feedback shows that you listen, builds your customers’ and employees’ trust, and motivates your staff to provide a better customer experience.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are here to stay, as the new norm, pandemic and crisis aside and this is great, as both brands and consumers could have much to benefit from this consumer feast. That is, as long as it retains the characteristics of a feast, rather than an overwhelming, hard-to-handle, experience for both sides.
Making sure that you have what it takes to handle the big traffic while offering an uncompromised CX, could be the key differentiator that will bring a brand ahead of the competition, making this experience feel personal for your customers while offering them a seamless journey, by putting the focus on how to retain and have repeat customers, not just one-off customers in these special weeks of sales