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As the UK gradually reopens in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the time to conduct customer surveys to see how they feel about visiting again.

On the evening of March 23rd, the UK entered what has now commonly become known as ‘lockdown’, and what would have been almost unthinkable just a few months earlier became a reality across the world as countries battled to control the Coronavirus. 

Since lockdown began, we’ve seen some of the very best — and worst — of society. From the initial panic buying and shortages of everyday supplies, to the ‘Clap for Our Carers’ movement and more, it’s been a hectic start to the year here in the UK and beyond.

For businesses, it’s been largely negative news. Due to lockdown, certain sectors, including hospitality, retail, and travel have been hit hard, and for all businesses, the challenge of customer communication has also been tough. How do you communicate with your customers now your staff are working from home? What tone of voice do you use and what’s the best approach? What do you communicate?

What’s Next?

As we’re over 2 months into lockdown and plans are in place for further easing of restrictions, now is the perfect time to see how your audience actually feels about the high street reopening. 

Experts say that air traffic won’t return to 2019 levels until 2023, and the same principle may apply to retail too. How do your customers actually feel about you reopening? What can you do to help put their mind at ease? Is there anything you can put in place to help?

For many, it won’t be a return to business as usual. Restaurants in Wuhan, China have experienced this firsthand. After the city was reopened once cases of COVID-19 dropped below a certain level, people still continued to stay away.

Writing the Perfect Customer Surveys, at the Perfect Time

customer surveysFirst things first: what should your customer surveys include? Well, it depends on what you’re looking to learn. Things which are at the forefront of your customer’s minds will include things like:

  • Social distancing in-store
  • Staff and customer hygiene
  • Opening times
  • Additional staff training
  • Temperature checks
  • Limiting the number of people in the premises at one time

Not only are these the themes your customers will be expecting your surveys to contain, it’s also fantastic insight for you to use to implement operational improvements at a local level within your stores, restaurants, hotels, etc.

Easier Customer Surveys = Easier Analysis

Creating a good customer survey isn’t rocket science, but if you’re new to the concept there are things you can do which will not only make it easier for your recipient to complete the survey, but will also make analysing the results easier.

Limit the number of ‘free text’ boxes so you can properly identify themes. Keep the survey short and sweet, as the number one reason someone will either ignore your survey altogether, or abandon it halfway through is that it will be too long. Ensure the survey is completable on the devices your customers will be using, for a starting point, it absolutely must be mobile-friendly. 

Customer surveys aren’t just accessible via email any more. You can use social media or SMS texts to either direct people to the survey, or complete it directly

Think about how your audience will be online during the lockdown, and what the easiest way for them to complete your survey will be. You need to work around their day, remember.

Analysis and Operational Improvements

Analysis of surveys has gotten easier in recent years. Software platforms have enabled crisper and easy-to-use UIs to identify trends and export results into nice-looking presentations, but there’s one thing that many platforms often overlook: Artificial Intelligence (AI).

AI can make after-survey-analysis as simple as possible, whilst not compromising on quality or speed of analysis. AI can help to identify trends within text, and can give you actionable insights for you to take forward to ensure reopening is as smooth as possible.

With Reputation.com’s patented AI and Machine Learning algorithms, users of our platform are able to see unmatched insight into customer experience and reputation data, all in one place. Using natural language processing (NLP) techniques, brands can dive deep into understanding the customer sentiment and explore areas of improvement in a few clicks.  The platform also provides a Reputation Score allowing users to actively measure and track the performance of their whole brand, or each location, in real-time to help make improvements at a local level. Users can closely manage every touchpoint across the customer journey, and act on prescriptive recommendations faster to drive customer retention and revenue growth.

Get Things Right and Hit The Ground Running

The right survey can give you so much valuable information. You can gauge how your customers are feeling about reopening, and also whether or not they’re comfortable with even visiting you, even after lockdown restrictions are eased.

Google My Business impressions are down an average of 59% across all industries as less people search online for store openings, restaurant bookings, and more. By asking your customers firsthand, you can gain invaluable insights into their expectations, and what their plans are as restrictions are lifted. Will they visit? How often? What do they expect you, as the business, will change to ensure their safety and that of your own staff?

Reputation.com has the experience and expertise to build and deploy world-class customer surveys that give you the insight you need at this most exceptional of times. You need high response rates and feedback you can put to use. With a mix of AI, prescriptive insights, and multiple methods of deployment, we help enterprise brands get the answers they need more than ever.