Deliver Meaningful Customer Experiences

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The last, best experience a shopper has anywhere becomes the minimum expectation for the experience they want everywhere.

– Havas 2019 Prosumer survey

Havas Group surveyed a combination of 2,000 “pro-sumers” — early adopters who are forward thinking, influential, and proactive in what they do and share — and mainstream consumers across the U.S., U.K., France, and China. Here is what they learned to help brands deliver meaningful customer experiences now and in a post-COVID world. Here’s some highlights:

Catch up to customer expectations to deliver meaningful customer experiences

Digitally mature, customer-focused brands able to meet people’s needs during the pandemic have left their competitors scrambling to improve or lose market share. Last, best interactions mean brands must meet evolving customer standards to remain relevant. That is, the last, best experience a shopper has anywhere becomes the minimum expectation for the experience they want everywhere.

  • 78% of prosumers and 59% of mainstream consumers want to easily connect with a human, whether that’s through chat or video interaction, even when there’s no physical store.
  • Be mindful of additional fees. They’re much more likely to buy from a brand if they offer free returns (91% prosumer, 84% consumer), free shipping (89%, 85%) and fast delivery (86%, 74%).
  • They’re also more likely to buy if they can find easy answers to their questions (89% prosumer, 77% consumer) and see customer reviews (87%, 71%).

Humanize experiences with (the right) personalization

To customers, personalization is removing friction from the experience, based on their previous interactions with your brand.

  • The majority of prosumers (81%) and mainstream consumers (59%) alike expect retailers to make their in-store visits faster and safer via personal appointments and digital queues.
  • Online, they want real-time human connectionone-to-one shopping advice, curated choices and help making decisions (73% of prosumers; 56% of mainstream consumers).
  • Use customer data to personalize future experiences. 65% of prosumers and 47% of mainstream consumers want recommendations based on their past purchases.
  • Loyalty needs to be reciprocated: 88% of prosumers and 75% of mainstream consumers want brands to reward their loyalty with special prices and promotions.

Rethink ‘time spent’ metrics

In a one-click world, time is a precious commodity. Customers want to choose when and where to spend time with brands, and they trust brands that respect their time.

  • For 92% of prosumers and 78% of mainstream consumers, your site or app must, above all, be fast and easy to navigate. Don’t belabor people with time-consuming interactions or get in the way with flashy experiences that create slow loads or “clever” navigation.
  • Rote interactions should be as frictionless and minimal as possible; 92% of prosumers and 83% of mainstream consumers want a checkout process that’s quick and easy.
  • Create benchmark metrics from your customers’ POV. See how fast you can get your customers through the experience. Allow them to choose where they pause and spend time. Most likely, it will be looking at the things only your brand can provide.

Savvy yet cautious customers expect a safe in-store experience on top of quality service, have a growing desire for personalization, and want an online experience that’s as engaging and humanized as an in-person one. Brands that meet these needs will win their market.

— Nerlich, Stephanie. How to win the customer experience today and post-pandemic. Think with Google. November 2020. https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-insights/consumer-journey/delivering-meaningful-customer-experiences/