Edelman’s research says, 78% of businesses have a responsibility to ensure their employees are protected from the virus in the workplace and do not spread the virus into the community.
The ultimate goal of any business – be it grocery or anything else is to build trust and maintain it.
Especially during COVID-19, the panic has increased amongst the consumers. The need is to calm them down and understand what they are expecting from your grocery business during this pandemic.
The demand for groceries has certainly increased during the coronavirus pandemic. Just see the trends:
Dollar sales share of private label edible grocery during the coronavirus pandemic in the United States in 2020, by segment.
Build Trust and Maintain It – That’s What Customers are Expecting During COVID-19
How does one do that? How can grocery retailers build trust amongst their customers? Well, if you are also one of those grocery retailers, here are some points that you must follow and keep in mind.
a) Show Up, Don’t Delay
Being a grocery retailer, you must know that with a pandemic, customers have changed. They are now expecting much more now as compared to the period when COVID-19 hit he world.
So, during this time, it is mandatory to be available and deliver on time. Don’t delay the services – it is going to hamper your brand and reputation.
So, when customers order groceries from your store – be there, show up on time. Delayed services or ignoring customers’ demands during this time can hurt your business adversely.
However, the opposite would build long-term customers. The choice is totally yours – if you wish to build a better business and relationships during this pandemic or just run a business that sells average groceries.
b) Collaborate, Build Better Connections
Well, the pandemic has shifted the focus of the consumers. You must have heard that there is a strength when you work together.
Hence, collaboration is a must to serve your grocery customers aptly during this crisis. Join hands with others – like suppliers, delivery agents, better staff, and as many people as you can to build a better business that serves the grocery customers on time.
Most importantly, the need for the hour has become to follow what’s has been said by the Government. If you are abiding by the rules set by the Government, it will be easy for you to build trust amongst your customers, and retain them for longer.
Since this pandemic phase is tough to survive – for both the customers and your grocery business – it is required to follow all the guidelines set by the Government carefully. Customers have changed their viewpoint on safety now. It, indeed, has become an essential factor that patrons are looking for right now, besides timely grocery delivery services.
Hence, it is required for every grocery business to deliver safe services while collaborating with as many people for smooth grocery delivery services online.
c) Help your Patrons; Don’t Just Sell
Obviously, the demand for groceries is pretty high during COVID-19. There is no need to forcefully sell your groceries to them. What they need right now from you is the help, the uninterrupted assistance that will help them in experiencing the grocery delivery services seamlessly.
Getting groceries is not tough for them now, experiencing a helping attitude while delivering groceries is. Your grocery delivery business must be able to deliver that help, that assistance, which will build a better customer retention rate for you too.
So, do you understand that a helping attitude doesn’t just comfort them, it comforts you too. Hence, the motive of every grocery business right now should be to be more helpful than to be salesy and pushy.
Help your customers, and they will stick to your grocery business now and for many coming years.
d) Communicate – With Emotions and Empathy
The coronavirus pandemic has created a panic amongst the grocery buyers. They are afraid to buy groceries from any store. Something reliable and trustworthy is needed – and you can be that highly reliable and trustworthy store for them. All you need to become their favorite is to communicate with emotions and empathy.
Hundreds of grocery delivery retailers are supplying groceries online – how are you any different and why should they buy from you?
Well, you are more empathetic and more reliable – you understand their emotions and how this pandemic has affected ‘Us’ all. Yes, speak to them as you both belong to the same world, who are affected adversely by the same situation.
Customers are not looking to buy from someone who is impolite, rather someone who somehow connects with them pays attention to their problems. Yes, people are panicking right now – being a grocery delivery retailer, you must calm them and supply things on time.
Pandemic is Transforming Grocery Customer Experience – What Has Really Changed?
Consumer’s experience is changing – or shall we say, it has changed. It is built on how and what the customer is experiencing. Grocery retailers must understand what’s needed – it includes customer support along with empathy and more politeness.
Customers want grocery retailers who can surpass their expectations, somehow. However, it is easier said than done. It takes a lot for grocers to deliver timely services while themselves being empathetic in such a crisis.
Some limitations act as a hindrance to their business’s success. It could be anything from following the strict guidelines set by the Government to fulfilling the over expectations of the customers. Grocery retailers are facing certain challenges too (which no one is really talking about, it seems).
Innovation, Customization, and Apt Delivery – The Most Apparent Needs of Customers (This is What Grocers Must Do NOW!)
Grocer retailers must find new and innovative ways to connect to the customers.
Innovation, customization, and on-time delivery – that’s what grocers need to deliver to their patrons right now.
If you are successfully finding new ways to deliver groceries – be it unique offers, free delivery to senior citizens, supplying groceries in extra hours, or giving discounts to your patrons – then you are positively on the way to becoming one of the best grocers in the future.
What else can you do to be a good grocer during a pandemic? Re-frame the customer deliver model – of course, the time has changed and so does the mindset of customers. They are not just looking for grocery delivery (as we discussed above).
For satisfying their prerequisite of ‘help’ and ‘empathy,’ it is needed to redesign your customer delivery model. For instance, ‘contactless deliveries’ have been adopted by most of the grocery delivery business. The sole reason is to satisfy the ‘safety needs’ of the customers, keeping in mind the current scenario.
Well, that’s how you can make your customers feel special, besides making them feel that they are super safe when they are shopping with you.
Next, every grocery delivery business needs to rise above their ‘Traditional’ customer service.
There is an urgent necessity to invest in good customer service, advanced delivery solutions, digital solutions, better internal processes, and building a better relationship with the customers.
Don’t be disappointing during this crisis – and your customers are not going to go anywhere.
They are going to stick to your services for more than what time you have expected.
Change has happened, and you will have to be more innovative, reliable, and trustworthy to stay in the grocery business.
Remember, COVID-19 Phase is Novel for All – It will Leave Us All with Different Experiences
The pandemic phase is tough, and it will leave us all with different experiences.
1. Experience of Both the Good and the Bad
The COVID-19 times are tough – everyone is learning to adjust to this situation. Every customer is experiencing both – the good grocery services and even the bad.
The reason is that some grocers have adjusted to the changing needs of this coronavirus pandemic, while others are still stuck with their traditional business model.
Some a still waiting for this crisis to end; the smarter ones have already found ways to adjust to the changing needs of the customers. Those who have adjusted to the altered needs are sustaining in the market; others are still confused about how the grocers are becoming successful in such times.
Customers are experiencing different grocery delivery services too. They are also getting in contact with grocers who have become impatient during these times and don’t really getting solutions to satisfy the increasing customer’s needs. On the other hand, some customers are pretty satisfied with what is being served to them in the shape of groceries.
2. Advanced Technology Solutions are Ready to Assist; Just Accept It
Yes, that’s right – technology can help if you really let it in your grocery business. How does one stay strong during COVID-19 in the grocery market? Leverage technology in the right ways and you will find that customer service getting better day by day. Amalgamate high technology with high touch.
Make the best use of digital tools, including AI and Machine Learning to deliver the customized needs of grocery shoppers. Digital tools will even let you supply quicker groceries, as most of the tasks will be automated. Besides, it will help you build more effective interactions with your patrons.
Hence, investing in modern technologies and data can be highly beneficial for your grocery business. High-end technology and quality data will let you access more in-depth information about what your customers really prefer, and how are they behaving during this pandemic.
Further, when you know the grocery shopper’s behavior and preferences, it is easy to satisfy their needs and shopping requirements. Be empathetic while making the most of the technology.
3. Progress; Improve Your Efficiency
That’s not easy, but if you have prioritized efficiency, it is important to invest in AI and bots. It will not just diminish the in-person contact duration, but also simplifies the customer services as well. Today’s amplified customer service needs can be satisfied with the virtual customer assistants, or chatbot, maybe. In fact, the demand for chatbots has already increased in the grocery industry.
The grocery industry has started to realize the importance of AI and chatbots in 2020. After COVID-19, the vitality of technology in the grocery business has been witnessed. It is time to progress – improve efficiency to match the needs of your customers.
The advanced technology simplifies all complex tasks, allowing high-end solutions to make your grocery delivery business a success. Once you have helped your grocery shoppers in experiencing high-quality services, it would be easy for you to keep them for longer.
Using technology, you can answer simple and tedious queries, appointment scheduling, sending quick updates to augment communication, and deliver quality services. Besides, your agents will be free from such mundane tasks – getting more time to focus on more important problems. Technology and good communication will surely enhance your performance, allowing you to deliver high-end services to your grocery customers.
4. Re-evaluate Your Business Model
Different ways can be adopted to help people during this pandemic. Ask yourself, if you were a customer, what would you have expected out of your grocery service provider.
That, perhaps, is one of the best ways to find out solutions to your customer’s queries and concerns. Utilizing digital technology, you can soothe the panicked customers, and answer their queries well. FAQs can certainly help your customers in attaining answers to all their queries.
Customers, too understand that this crisis was sudden, and nobody was prepared. They understand the situation too! So, the best is to deliver quick and quality services to make your customer happy and stick to your grocery delivery business.
The Takeaway Message
Maintaining brand trust is vital during COVID-19! No matter what your business is, it is important to understand how the emotions and demands of customers have changed. You will have to adjust to these changing needs by being more empathetic, more helpful, and dedicated to delivering timely services.
The need of the hour is to stay true to your customers and deliver the best to them. Incorporate technology into your business, and everything will be fine.