The new normal. The next normal. Long hauler. Social distancing. Zoom fatigue. Today, they’re part of our accepted lexicon. One year and some months after the start of the pandemic, we have several reminders of its existence beyond just language, and nowhere is it more evident than in the behavior of consumers.
The pandemic, no doubt, drove companies to accelerate their transformation plans from years to months to ensure the safety, happiness, and return of customers and prospects. And never has it been more important to focus on how technology enhances the customer experience, truly complements it rather than replace or dehumanize it. Many of these changes, and their effect on consumers show no signs of waning.
General behavioral shifts
Remember when “Who’s zoomin who” was best known as an Aretha Franklin song? Today, with web conferencing being the de facto means of communication, market leader Zoom enjoyed 418% growth in adoption rate in the first few months of the pandemic. In fact, all of the web conferencing tools had a great year with the demand for face-to-face communication combined with social distance.
Other key behavioral shifts include:
An Accenture survey reveals that 83% of customers have no issue sharing their data provided they get a personalized experience.
Google research shows that over 98% of Americans switch between devices every day.
73% of consumers now say that an experience with one organization changes their expectations for all other organizations.
Consumers are becoming far more demanding, and want the best experience available.
Whether you’re a grocery store, an apparel vendor, a luxury retailer, or a car dealer, you’ve seen shifts in your customers demanding immediacy, convenience, safety, and a selection of channels. They want high touch, but little contact.
Curbside pickup grew 700% at Target, and drove 41% of revenue in Q2 for Best Buy (New York Times)
BOPIS (buy-online-pickup-in-store) and curbside pickup adoption has increased for 78% of shoppers since the beginning of the pandemic, and 69% of consumers expect to continue using these services (Raydiant’s State of Consumer Behavior 2021)
Customers that use more than three channels while interacting with a brand are 250% more likely to make a purchase compared to single-channel users. (ClickZ)
Last summer, 42% of US shoppers ordered groceries online in comparison to 29% for the same period in the previous year (NPD Group)
79% of US consumers reported missing the social aspects of shopping in physical stores during lockdown
Online experiences are not permanent substitutes for in-person experiences as 46% of respondents said they still prefer to shop in person rather than online. (Raydiant)
With the shifts in behavior, it is clear that consumers are looking to maintain their safety, indulge their needs for convenience, and seek out the ability to interact with others. Similarly, banks and financial institutions are experiencing similar trends from their customers.
Despite who you are listening to, the trends in the banking industry remain fairly consistent. Consumers want to deal with people when it comes to their finances, they demand omnichannel options, and are looking for human, personalized services.
Three-quarters of financial services executives — from banking, insurance and capital markets — report that half of their customers’ financial activities switched from in-person to digital. (Microsoft)
43% of respondents say the way they bank has changed due to COVID-19 (EY)
One in four financial institutions are planning to invest for the first time in video technologies. Going into 2020, only 20% of banks and credit unions had already deployed these tools—heading into 2021, that percentage is roughly 30%. (Cornerstone Advisors)
Maybe it’s time to look at a scheduling solution
It’s clear that consumers are looking for engagement that is:
If you’re looking for a solution to check all of the boxes, appointment scheduling software is your best bet. It provides the ability to offer face-to-face communication, while building stronger customer relationships.