COVID-19 BRINGS VICIOUS CIRCLE IN CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE UNLESS WE CONSCIOUSLY PREVENT IT.
Looking from a broader angle.
Not much before the first wave of the COVID Pandemic, Phantom Shopping has launched a new Digital Customer Voice solution to help their Clients learn more about what customers want.
Our Clients could finally cross-reference what customers want (Voice solution) with how much sales staff delivers those wants (Mystery Shopping) in 180 degrees. This has brought the most unexpected, yet harshly insightful results. The main learning is simply too good to keep in the closet, so we are pleased to share it with you now.
Extended attentiveness can prevent a vicious circle.
It was easy to predict that customers would be scared, rushing through their shopping impatiently. Sales staff behavior showed nearly identical traits. But here comes the twist. Customer attitude towards sales staff took an unexpected turn: According to customers, sales staff should not show fear, on the contrary, they are expected to be extra patient, attentive and comforting towards stressed customers. Unfortunately sales staff were simply human and were scared too. So instead of delivering what customers expected they most often shied away from customer interactions.
This made customers more frustrated to the point of eruption. The risk in all this is that it can create a negative cycle. A stressed customer’s expectations are not met → becomes even more stressed → Erupts and gives stress to the sales person (+tells friends) → Sales person will be even less eligible to give extra care → Customers will be even more frustrated → Staff stress will grow further…etc. and there you have the undesired cycle.
So what to do?
You already did the first step by reading this passage. You are now aware. Second step is to make your frontline staff aware and ready to consciously provide the “extended attention” that customers nowadays claim. Those who do, will be ahead of the game. Will you be one of them?