No matter the industry, Covid-19 changed how business was conducted, driving technological innovation and online experiences and, often, making things smoother and more convenient for customers. As we shift back to in-person interactions when buying, customers now expect the seamless and personalised experiences they encounter online to be matched. Moreover, as purchasing anything, from everything from shoes to insurance, has increasingly not needed to occur in-person, these interactions have become more of a novelty.
As many businesses attempted to entice people back into shops, restaurants, theatres, and other physical locations post-Covid lockdowns, they often went above and beyond in terms of creating an interesting and unique customer experience1. This novelty factor and the emphasis on making in-person experiences special means that there is increasing pressure on businesses to step up their game in physical locations. Customers are more likely to be unsatisfied with slow terminals, long lines, and lack of consistency across in-person, online, and in-app experiences when they could have had a better experience staying at home and buying online2.
Unfortunately, this does not mean that businesses can scale back physical presence and encourage customers to use online methods that are slicker, as for industries such as financial services, customers trust companies with a physical presence far more than those that are online only3. Instead, businesses need to focus on translating the convenience and ease of online to their in-person customer interactions.
So, how do you do this?
Consistency is key to the customer experience, and as businesses evolve to offer the omnichannel experiences people now expect, this is something that needs to stay top of mind4. Businesses need to be providing the same easy checkouts, range of options, and seamless service that their customers have come to expect shopping online or in-apps5. This also needs to be implemented uniformly, from the cards that are accepted to the consistency of branding and feel. It’s often worth placing yourself in the customers' shoes, going through the motions of the end-to-end customer experience across all your company’s channels.
2. Experiences that spark joy
Consumers now expect experiences that stand out. They want to go to places that spark excitement and joy because, if they don’t, why bother leaving the house - they could instead just go online. The benefits of encouraging customers to go to a physical location to engage with your brand are also important, with customers trusting brands with physical locations more and having greater brand loyalty to businesses they feel are exciting, in line with their personal views, and bringing something new6. This could be through creating amazing physical spaces, offering exciting new technology (more on that below!), and providing personalisation through building customer profiles, so that your clients feel wanted and special at an individual level.
Fortunately, with the developments in technology over the past four years, from AI to payments tech, providing consistency and sparking joy becomes a lot easier. Take, for example, retail's use of interactive mirrors in changing rooms that allow customers to request different sizes, see different colours and stock options, or wishlist items so that they can then buy them online later on. Whilst this is cutting-edge tech that can’t be applied across other industries, it is well worth engaging with the latest in tech within your own industry to ensure you’re staying up-to-date with competitors or even superseding them and providing better experiences through innovation. Tech not only makes experiences better for customers but also better for you. Changes as small as implementing touch-screen smart terminals mean being able to synch up multiple systems by adding apps, ensuring all your transaction data is captured and analysed in real time. Not only will your checkouts look slicker and be more mobile to impress your customers, but you can reap very real benefits in the background.
How Cashflows can help:
At Cashflows, we’re all about tech, particularly home-grown tech that does exactly what you want it to do and that’s perfected by our people. We prioritise offering our customers the cutting-edge payments tech they need that works across all their channels and offers their own customers choice, consistency, and seamless checkouts. All of our solutions also integrate into one dashboard, meaning it’s easy for you to control the options you’re giving your customers, as well as getting a full real-time view of your transaction data. So, if you’re looking to provide incredible checkouts both at your physical locations and online, contact us to learn about our latest innovations.