It’s no secret that companies were forced to embrace online buying in order to survive the pandemic. However, you might be surprised to learn just how quickly this pivot came about. According to research from McKinsey, COVID-19 forced companies five years into the digital future in a matter of eight weeks.
With such a rapid shift in resources needed to succeed in the digital-only world, it makes sense that companies already positioned to serve customers online would be ahead of the game. In fact, the food delivery industry has been described as the only winning market throughout the pandemic.
However, even these companies faced unprecedented challenges to keep up with ever-multiplying demand. Although vaccines are being slowly distributed, the digital-first landscape isn’t going anywhere, and companies will still need to reckon with succeeding in a remote world.
Below are takeaways from our joint webinar with Usabilla, featuring the head of HelloFresh’s VoC (voice of the customer) team, Mariano Di Rienzo. We recap Mariano’s takeaways to shed light on how this world-class brand was able to not only survive but thrive during the tumult that was 2020, and how other brands can follow their lead. You can also jump to the infographic below.
10 Tips From HelloFresh on Thriving in a Post-Pandemic Digital Landscape
1. Improve Both Physical and Digital Products
With such a heavy reliance on online shopping, today’s customers are expecting an immaculate UX. However, this doesn’t mean the actual product they’re paying for can afford to decline in quality. Companies need to focus equally on providing amazing products and an online shopping experience that is easy and pleasant. For HelloFresh, this meant optimizing both their actual food and recipes along with their website for the best experience possible.
2. Constant Data Collection
The constant theme HelloFresh returned to during the webinar was how essential customer data collection is for improving CX. Using the latest CX technology, companies should strive to have a dedicated person or team that distills customer feedback into easily digestible reports and presentations that anyone at the company can understand. This allows for meaningful feedback from stakeholders, PR and social teams, customer service reps, and, for HelloFresh, chefs and recipe writers.
3. Pay Attention to Every Stage of the Customer Journey
Though it can be tempting to collect feedback only at the most vital stages of the customer journey (after a first-time purchase and a cancellation), creating a unified CX program prioritizing every stage of the customer journey allows for a much better picture of overall customer satisfaction. Collecting feedback at every stage allows issues to be redirected to the right teams to address, and for HelloFresh, makes it easier to identify subjective trends like food preferences.
4. Put Yourself in Your Customers’ Shoes
Practicing empathy is one of the most important ways to ensure customer loyalty, especially in such a trying time. Use customer feedback to gain a better understanding of your audience’s pain points and how you can solve for their unique problems.
For example, HelloFresh was able to uncover significant differences in food taste at a hyperlocal level, such as East vs West Berlin or English Canadian vs French Canadian households in Quebec. Using this information, they are able to offer recipes and meal choices more suited to each type of customer.
Another interesting finding they were able to identify was that families with kids disliked recipes with casseroles or salads because kids like to be able to see exactly what is in their food. With this knowledge, they know not to offer casserole dishes to this customer segment to demonstrate their understanding of customer needs.
5. Use CSAT for Customer Service
There are a multitude of metrics companies can take into account to measure the effectiveness of different teams and initiatives. HelloFresh uses CSAT (customer satisfaction) as their preferred KPI for measuring customer service interactions. CSAT data is gathered by sending out a simple survey after the interaction, asking customers “How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the service you received?”. They can answer on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being “extremely unsatisfied” and 5 being “extremely satisfied.”
6. Utilize NPS Regularly
Along with measuring CSAT, HelloFresh also makes use of the NPS calculation at touchpoints across the customer journey. They start by sending out an NPS survey after the very first interaction, and then every 60 days following that first touchpoint. HelloFresh has found that NPS correlates strongly with growth-centered metrics like CLV (customer lifetime value), making it an essential KPI to keep track of.
7. Anticipate Logistical Challenges
Another overarching theme HelloFresh identified during the pandemic was that customers’ basic reasoning for using their service had drastically changed. While HelloFresh used to be a much-appreciated convenience, in a global pandemic they became essential for many under stay-at-home orders.
Customers came to rely greatly on their deliveries and flocked to sign up in multitudes. Because of this, HelloFresh stressed that companies need to anticipate challenges to their logistics and customer service departments and be prepared to shift resources to those areas as much as possible.
8. Communicate More Frequently
As mentioned earlier, collecting feedback at every stage of the customer journey allows for a more nuanced understanding of different segments. During the pandemic, HelloFresh also strove to add touchpoints to keep customers informed and up-to-date. No one can predict the future, especially during a global crisis, so HelloFresh instead took a more day-by-day approach and monitored economic and health news closely to communicate any changes as quickly as possible.
9. Focus on the Fundamentals
If you’re wondering where to even start making changes to your business, the most important takeaway from HelloFresh’s strategy is to go back to the basics. By this, they mean that every decision needs to be data-driven - there shouldn’t be any guesswork involved. Make sure your most basic offering is rock solid, collect customer feedback, and make changes you can be confident in based on this data.
10. Close the Loop on Customer Feedback
The last piece of advice to take away from the webinar is to always close the feedback loop with your customers. When they take the time to share their compliments or concerns, you should also take the time to let them know that their feedback is appreciated along with any steps you are taking to improve your offerings based on what they told you. This will make sure your customers feel listened to and valued.
Chattermill is here to help you make the shift into a digital-first experience by offering customer feedback collection and AI-driven analysis at every stage of the customer journey.
Try out our insight tagger below with a sample comment from your most recent customer survey. It's a great way see first hand how our AI helps identify how customers feel about your product, stay on top of emerging topics and understand what keeps them coming back.