There is no doubt that customers are vital to the short- and long-term success of any business (regardless of size, industry, or target market). With a specific focus on the last-mile delivery industry, companies are starting to see various trends develop with regards to customer demands in terms of their experience with a company and the services it offers.
The business world has witnessed the buzzing around of the phrase “customer experience.” Is this concept the same as “customer service?” What exactly does it entail?
This blog aims to provide tips about the ins and outs of customer experience, with a particular emphasis on digital customer experience. Furthermore, it will highlight the role that smart lockers can play in increasing your success stories when it comes to achieving top-notch customer experience.
Understanding what customer experience entails
Customer experience (abbreviated as CX) is described as the interactions and experiences that customers have with a business, beginning from the first point of contact, until they later (hopefully) become loyal customers.
A misconception exists that customer experience is the same as customer service. However, these two concepts should not be confused. Customer service is only one (of many) aspect of the whole customer experience process. As can be seen in the definition above, customer experience is an all-encompassing concept, ranging across all the diverse activities of offering a good or service to a client.
CX forms an integral part of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and is important because businesses have a large desire for customers to have a positive experience with their organisations, so that, consequently, these people will become repeat and loyal clients.
When retail collided with the internet, the concept of a customer journey completely changed. Customer experiences and desires are constantly evolving. Compared to a decade ago, customers are being a lot more proactive within internet spaces and can therefore gather a lot more information before making a purchase. With the increase of buying options and greater information about e-commerce, customers focus has now shifted away from price and towards value. It is no longer about just obtaining “the best deal,” but more about the complete experience.
The strategy behind customer experience
A recent study undertaken by Bloomberg Businessweek found that the delivery of great customer experience has become one of the foremost strategic objectives of companies For all companies (regardless of size), it is important to gain a competitive advantage in the area of customer experience.
It is important to remove the misconception that customer experience should only be strategised by larger businesses who have the capital layout to do so. Customer experience, now more than ever, should be prioritised by small businesses, as they are often the ones who can benefit the most by through an increase in customers and general business growth. As will be seen by the suggestions mentioned below, small businesses most definitely have the capabilities to invest in customer experience improvement strategies, and this does not always have to occur at large costs to the business. Improving customer experience can be done in some of the simplest (and inexpensive) ways such as keeping employees happy or asking customers for feedback.
The effect of technology on customer experience
As a consequence of advances in technology, the modern digital world has seen a significant rise in customer touchpoints. Clients now have a large variety of channels at their disposal, including physical shopping, mobile apps, phoning call centres or purchasing goods or services online. One way in which this can be achieved is for businesses to ensure that customers have a positive experience at all their omni-channel routes.
Some of the most popular routes include those of a digital nature. There are a number of ways in which a business can improve its customers’ digital experiences, namely:
- Having a good understanding of the intricacies of CX;
- Knowing the audience and their needs;
- Fully understanding the customer’s journey; and
- Identifying and finding solutions for potential digital experience challenges faced by customers.
[Photo by Canva]
However, having knowledge of customer experience is not enough. Companies need to embrace technological advancements and innovations to ensure that customer experience is optimised.
This leads to the question: How can smart locker businesses influence CX?
Recently, a growing demand for contactless interactions and shopping experiences is evident (especially during the uncertain times of COVID-19). A survey from Shekel revealed that customers are changing their grocery habits, with 87% of consumers claiming to prefer shops with touchless or self-checkout options. This result highlights the desire of customers to have contactless means of purchasing goods.
However, this desire need not only be seen with in-store purchases, but also with the delivery of goods (for example, products that are bought online). It is under these circumstances that smart lockers can have a positive influence on customer experience in the last-mile delivery realm.
[Photo by And Africa Co., Ltd.]
Smart lockers can help your business improve its customer experience in the following ways:
- Smart lockers offer a convenient way of allowing customers to pick-up and return their online orders and products;
- Digital lockers allow customers the flexible option of picking up their online purchases at any time, without the limitation of office working hours;
- Smart lockers are safe and contactless – therefore offering compliance with the necessary health and safety procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic
- The availability of additional marketing opportunities, for example, rewarding customers with shopping coupons or other incentives.
All of these benefits offered by smartlockers will ultimately contribute and enhance the customer experience of clients.
This blog has aimed to provide some insight to business owners as to what is expected of them in terms of offering the optimal customer experience to their clients. A business cannot function without satisfied and loyal customers, and this is precisely why their needs and wants must be prioritised through customer experience strategies. One tool that can be used to ensure that customer desires of safe, contactless and convenient deliveries is through the utilisation of smart lockers. This method of delivery has the potential to enhance your customer’s entire digital experience and should thus definitely be a consideration in your subsequent decision-making.