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Closing the feedback gap during the rise of eCommerce

By Jack Underwood, CEO and co-founder of Circuit

Gone are the days where online retail was solely for large resellers. With more brands launching online versions of their stores over recent years, shoppers have seen huge growth in e-commerce. A boom further caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, pushing people to shop online, rather than in-store.

With this trend showing no signs of stopping, we at Circuit were inspired to find out more about the delivery experiences of customers over the last year. We conducted research to do this and one of the most important findings was that nearly a quarter of customers (23%) who experience delivery issues whilst ordering goods online do not complain.

This shows that customer experiences may be worsened by poor delivery without the knowledge of retailers and couriers. Businesses are unable to improve customer satisfaction and establish greater customer loyalty without knowledge and awareness of these issues.

Closing the feedback gap must be of the highest importance to retailers if they want to improve the customer experience end-to-end; by considering the key points below, businesses can get closer to understanding their customers’ needs.

Do you know why feedback is important?

Retailers must first make sure they understand why customer feedback is important before they seek it. Everyone loves to hear what they’ve done well but it can be a lot harder to hear negative feedback. This however, cannot discourage retailers from asking for the thoughts and opinions of consumers. Having a fuller understanding of the customer experience will not only allow retailers to improve, but also to form a stronger rapport between retailer and customer. With greater trust between customers and retailers, the likelihood of customers remaining loyal and attracting new customers to that store increases.

In addition to this, understanding the experience of customers better can help improve the internal functionality of a retailer. At the moment, retailers are not getting the full picture of what’s working and what isn’t. This may result in internal decision making which, at best, does little to improve customer experience and at worst, makes the issues more prevalent and risks an increase of the feedback gap. If feedback is prioritized, retailers will always know what their customers are thinking which allows them to improve the processes that determine customer satisfaction.

Customer feedback for delivery is especially important now as delivery rates are likely to continue to rise, further supported by our survey results which found 85% of online shoppers saying they would shop either the same or more frequently online over the next 12 months. High quality service must be prioritized throughout the customer journey as delivery drivers are increasingly recognized as an important customer touch point and begin to become brand ambassadors.

What can retailers do now?

There are key things retailers can do to increase the rate at which feedback is given. As this will take time out of a customer’s day, businesses want to make sure the process is as straightforward as possible. One of the ways retailers can do this is through their applications. The accessibility of mobile apps makes getting feedback easier as it can be done in just one click. This also means less time is spent logging into emails or customer accounts, which can stop customers from offering reviews.

As well as quick accessibility, customers may also be more likely to give feedback if there is an incentive to do so. You can show your customers their feedback is valuable by giving them something in return.

This can be done by:

  • Offering customers a discount code after they’ve reviewed a number of purchases.
  • Giving customers the option to enter a raffle for a product or gift card once they’ve offered feedback.
  • Giving customers additional points on their points-based rewards card if they give feedback.

What’s next for the delivery industry?

At the moment, couriers, retailers and customers exist independently of each other – but Circuit is on a mission to fix this. Letting these stakeholders co-exist in the same space would allow for a much smoother customer experience. Imagine being able to communicate with your delivery driver when you’re not in, or to manage your delivery time so that it suits you. This would change the whole system for the better and revolutionize the way we organize our deliveries and our lives.

The feedback gap may be startling but it can be closed. If retailers and couriers work together to put the customers’ experience first, a culture where feedback is at the forefront of the post-shopping experience can be created.

To find out more about Circuit and our recent survey visit: https://getcircuit.com/blog/delivery-experience-customer-behavior

By Jack Underwood, CEO and co-founder of Circuit

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