The new reality, post-covid has given rise to new behaviors in customers and has pushed retailers to the brink, in terms of adapting to these changes. The massive surge in demand for deliveries, has given a major boost to gig-economy shoppers. With customers massively adapting to new buying patterns through apps such as Instacart, Doordash & Postmates, more and more retailers had no choice but to put themselves there even to be discovered.
Like how Reddit claimed to be the front page of the internet, these apps became the go-to places for “want-it-now” deliveries. In addition to that, with falling footfalls and concerns over crowds and lockdown restrictions, retailers had to offer these options within the shortest timeframes.
On the other hand, to get delivery-ready is logistically complex while enterprises also need to factor in cost, infrastructure, expertise and several other critical parameters before getting them all in-house. The fastest way to be available and cater to the demand peak is to partner with gig-economy apps.
What goes for a toss?
Customer experience is a key organizational goal for any and every retail organization, in letter, spirit or both.
While achieving that is challenging in itself, the involvement of a third-party, especially when they are front-ending it, is even more of a challenge.
The reviews above indicate customer sentiment even when they have brand loyalty, as to how a single bad experience can put the entire relationship at risk.
In this scenario, here are 5 ways to preserve customer experience in this era of gig-economy shoppers.
1. Onboarding & Commitment To Customer Experience
It is easier said than done and a gig worker, who does not understand the ethos and the values of a brand is highly unlikely to develop any sense of affinity, let alone commitment to it. Yet, under this assumption, one shouldn’t leave the importance of customer experience understated at the time of onboarding.
If processes with the right checks and balances, such as templates to respond to customer queries through a chatbot which is written thoughtfully to align with the principles, the brand stands for, with necessary personalization and tone consistency, these things make a huge difference in shaping the overall experience.
2. Whitelabelled Tech Stack
The technology stack that powers the entire delivery process, can be whitelabelled provided you have the right partners in place who offer such capabilities.
WIth whitelabelled solutions to place orders, track deliveries, register complaints, the identity of the brand is retained and although the fulfilment is done by a third-party, the overall feel-factor of the brand at multiple touch points is kept consistent for better recall.
In an era of data drips which are heavily leveraged by e-commerce companies to drive hyper-personalized, targeted and contextual messages to customers, why should time-tested, traditional retailers refrain from doing so?
Personalization is the bed-rock of customer experience and a channel or agreement where the gig-economy aggregators share at least contextual or transactional data with retailers, is an essential part of holding the grip on customer experience in the future.
Most complaints against retailers are around the inconsistency of experience and lack of predictability. A time commitment and adherence to it is what constitutes a predictable experience.
Often, ETA misses and lack of tracking the order causes frustration and anxiety to customers and this is a key impediment to customer experience. Investments are to be made for real-time visibility of ETAs and making the entire experience predictive irrespective of owned fleet or hired fleet.
5. Real-Time Actionability
Even if a certain transaction is going amiss and against the plan, there is a window of opportunity to turn it around and make it right. There are tonnes of incidents and case studies where brands have turned around distress into delight with timely intervention and action and won the loyalty of a customer which they nearly lost.
This needs the right checks and balances in place where data reaches the right decision-maker at the right time to initiate necessary steps in order to make it right.
These are 5 steps that retailers need to take right now to not just preserve customer experience but also pave the way for continuously improving it while they still don’t need to own the execution piece on their own.
If you are facing challenges on your logistics execution front and grappling with challenges, we can help you and you could get in touch with us at email@example.com to speak with our in-house logistics experts.