Four ways to welcome back your Cheshire customers

Katie Stabler Photo: Katie Stabler

Katie Stabler Photo: Katie Stabler - Credit: Archant

Shop Cheshire - how to look after customers

Customer experience guru Katie Stabler has advice as businesses come out of lockdown and set off on the road to recovery

As the world begins to regain some form of normality and our much-missed Cheshire businesses emerge from the forced hibernation, the prospect of picking up where we left off is enticing...

If only it were that straightforward. The truth is that our environment, our social ability, and our economic circumstances have altered so much that our customers are no longer the customers we once knew: their needs, wants and expectations have changed.

To successfully regenerate our businesses we must understand and accommodate our newly evolved customer, and now, more than ever, customer experience is crucial to every business’s profitability.

Here are some simple but essential actions you can take to ensure your customer is happy, safe, and comes back for more.

1, Take a walk in your customers’ shoes

Most Read

All too often the experience we are providing can be significantly different from the experience we think we are providing. A really easy way of experiencing what your customers actually feel is to become your own customer. So, take a stroll through your store, sign up to your service, or make a purchase from your website. How do you feel? Was your interaction seamless? Was it easy? Was it enjoyable?

2. Step up your empathy game

You need to get to know your customers again. So much has changed, and that includes your customers. You need to understand what they are thinking and feeling right now – this will provide amazing insight as to why they do what they do, and in turn you can use this to evolve your product or service around them. Empathy mapping is a brilliant tool – it’s the practice of considering what your customer thinks, feels, says and does. When you have collected this information you can start to see themes emerge around what causes your customer pain and what delights them.

3. Listen to what your customers are saying

Customer feedback is always important but right now we are in unknown territory. As business owners, we are taking precautions to safely revive our business and our customers are tentatively stepping into our space once more. But we are both feeling our way through this, so what better way to continue to understand and meet your customers’ new needs than by asking them for feedback.

4. Cultivate customer experience by design

You now have a wealth of insight. You have walked in your customers’ shoes, you have used empathy mapping to get into the mind of your customer and you have proactively listened to what your customers are telling you. Now is the time to act. Don’t let this knowledge gather dust, use it to enhance what you are doing, and create your customer experience with intent. Take care of your customers and they will take care of you. u

Katie Stabler is a Cheshire-based customer experience specialist and author, dedicated to cultivating high-value customer experience through data, design, and culture. She has spent a decade in experience design, working within both the not for profit and commercial sector and now runs her own customer experience consultancy, CULTIVATE Customer Experience by Design.

Click here to submit your nominations for the 2020 Cheshire Life Keep Life Local Awards