15 Jul Why CXO Will Be the Hero Your Business Needs
The ongoing pandemic has put businesses around the world in a tough position, and UK businesses are no different. While business owners may be concerned over sales right now, one thing you can do to regain some control over your business is to focus on improving your customer experience (CX). It’s a simple and well-known concept that customers who have great experiences with your business will become loyal customers. These loyal customers are then likely to encourage others to seek out your products or services, such as by telling their friends and family or by leaving an online review of your business.
Customer experience extends beyond face-to-face interactions at your business. It also includes your online presence and interactions with your customers! The process of improving your customer experience is known as customer experience optimization (CXO), and it can be the hero your business needs to keep customers engaged right now.
Let’s take a closer look at how COVID-19 is affecting business in the UK, what customer experience optimization really is, and how CXO can help in a crisis.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Business in the UK
COVID-19 has impacted nearly every facet of life for the time being, including UK consumer trends. Consumers have recently reported less-than-optimistic outlooks when it comes to economic growth and the ability to bounce back, even after the threat of the pandemic has significantly decreased. You might not be able to talk with your customers and gain their personal insight as much right now, but you can turn to survey data to understand how consumers are thinking and feeling.
According to McKinsey & Company’s recent survey of UK consumers, there has been a significant increase in pessimistic outlooks on post-COVID-19 economic recovery. Other significant consumer survey results include:
- 62% of consumers are very or extremely concerned about the state of the economy.
- 56% of consumers are worried and uncertain about how long the pandemic will last.
- 23% of the businesses owners are extremely concerned about the negative effects of the pandemic on their business.
- 33% of consumers are concerned about the impact the crisis is having on their job and income.
Fortunately, it’s not all bad news. Some industries have actually seen growth during these times, as shown by this consumer data from June 2020 regarding the period of the pandemic:
- Remote learning saw 44% growth, with 60% consumers expressing further intended remote learning usage.
- Telemedicine (mental) saw 64% growth, with 43% of consumers expressing further intended use of telemedicine services.
- Online purchase for in-store pickups 56% growth, with 52% of consumers expressing further intended preference for this purchasing option.
- Video consumption saw 27% growth, with 13% of consumers expressing further intended video consumption on an increased level.
- Online streaming consumption saw 5% growth, with 58% of consumers expressing further intended use of online streaming services.
Because the pandemic, lockdowns and social distancing have all affected how businesses handle operations, many have adapted to the growing needs of their consumers. In the Moz 2020 Industry Report, it was found that e-commerce, delivery, curbside pickup, takeout, and teleservices all increased greatly across the board. Many businesses that implemented these changes plan to continue with these services even after the pandemic has passed. When it comes to the perspective of marketing professionals, Moz found that 74% surveyed believed that it would take at least another year for normal business operations to resume, while 81% reported COVID-19 directly influenced cuts to marketing budgets.
To retain satisfied customers during these hard times, it’s important to focus on providing a positive customer experience. This will both help ease the tensions your customers are already facing and help your business hold on to loyal customers. And, with more consumers spending more time online, online reviews are a key element to showcasing the customer experience your business offers.
What Is Customer Experience Optimization?
So, what exactly is customer experience optimization?
Customer experience optimization can be defined as the continuous process of understanding the characteristics, wants and needs of your customers so that you can develop effective strategies to provide the best customer experience possible. Your CXO strategy should involve data, research and experimentation. CXO helps your business concretely know which efforts are making a positive impact on your customers and which efforts are not. Like other forms of marketing, providing a positive customer experience relies on knowing your target audience well and how to cater to their needs, both online and offline.
Using data and research for your CXO strategy can help you uncover such insights as the following:
- How users prefer to access your website (mobile, PC, etc.) and what users prefer to interact with on your website, depending on the device they’re using. Are they shopping, reading news, looking for your contact information, and so on?
- Location-based data, such as the preferences in prices or shipping by region/area.
- What types of content users prefer (text, image, video, audio) depending on their device.
CXO Can Help in a Crisis
If your business is in need of a way to improve your customer relationships during the current crisis, and if your marketing budget has been cut short, then customer experience optimization might be the solution you’ve been looking for. Improving your customer experience can be accomplished through developing a CXO strategy.
In business, a crisis can have many forms, whether that be a pandemic, an economic recession or simply a bad customer review. Any crisis can be effectively managed if you understand your customer(s) and if your customers are overall satisfied with their experience of your business. The best way to manage a crisis and use your CXO strategy is to be prepared.
As a business owner, you can be prepared for any crisis involving customer experience by using analytics tools and surveys to gather data about consumer interactions with your business, prioritizing the customer experience at every stage of the buyer’s journey, delivering a human-centric experience with your brand, and keeping your business up-to-date with the latest technology and digital trends. Especially during COVID-19, prioritizing customer experiences at every level and delivering human-centric services — even if your business has gone digital — will help your customers feel valued and appreciated.
Getting Started with CXO
If you want to get started with an online customer experience optimization strategy for your business but aren’t sure where to begin, Virtual Stacks Systems UK can help! Our digital marketing experts can help you manage online reviews, connect with your audience on social media, reach customers in your area with local SEO — and much more. We want to help your business make lasting connections with your loyal customers! Contact us today to discuss your marketing and customer experience optimization needs.