Endless thanks to TD for sponsoring this post.
All opinions expressed here are genuine and entirely mine.
In this unexpected year for many Canadian businesses, we all had to face some new realities about what surviving a global pandemic really means: weeks of shutting down our doors, adapting to a new reality and most importantly, growing our digital presence when brick-and-mortar visits were no longer possible.
I want to show you how important it is to maintain a strong digital presence with your customers, and how creating exceptional online experiences for your customers can help you.
As a small business myself, and with the surge of COVID-19, I knew that great online experiences were a must to secure better customer experiences and more loyal clients.
In the New Digital Customer Study commissioned on behalf of TD, 81% of Canadians surveyed said they have adjusted to a new normal and they expect businesses to do the same by enhancing their digital tools and offering better online services.
I am one of them! As a strong millennial mom shopping heavily online, I saw my behaviour shift to relying solely on digital for everything. Faster shipping options optimized mobile experiences, and easy, simple payment solutions, which all made my new digital life easier and more efficient.
In this post, I’ll show you how my life has been as a shop owner and entrepreneur during this unprecedented time, and how I’ve sustained my business by stepping up my e-commerce and digital services.
What I did differently
It’s incredible how all my personal habits switched last year, including things I never imagined doing digitally. Suddenly, I was taking therapy sessions, doctors’ appointments and art classes all online! And I wasn’t the only one – according to the TD study, Canadians surveyed have increasingly turned digital for similar experiences, such as consultations with a family physician (37%), virtual exercise programs (32%) and adult learning classes (26%).
Maybe we got used to this “new normal” faster than we realized but looking back on how it was before the pandemic, I see how much we now rely on digital for almost everything.
I know that my expectations around digital convenience have increased – when using my phone, I need websites to be optimized for mobile and to provide me with fast connections, and I definitely look for the option to chat with specialists online to fix an urgent problem. Understanding my own evolving needs, it’s so clear to me why it’s so important for brands to maintain solid customer service experiences online.
What I discovered
Yes, I was an early adopter of all things digital. What I didn’t know wasn’t up to speed yet, at least until COVID-19 arrived.
Managing a shop and handling multiple vendors, suppliers, and platforms, made me realize my business needed to evolve as a brand, and create a new wholesale site, for vendors to pick, buy and receive my business products easily.
I suddenly had to optimize my business website with contact forms and create a digital booking system seemingly overnight. I also needed to install a digital, contactless lock, so I could continue to rent my studio as needed but minimize contact by not being there in person.
Wild, right? And I know my business wasn’t the only feeling these pressures to evolve in order to keep up!
What I loved relying on
Going through the changes with my own business, I really understood the importance of providing a strong online customer experience, while minimizing changes to my services, as I navigated through COVID-19 restrictions. A company I was thankful over the last few months was TD. I found that they maintained a strong digital presence, with strong customer service and resources available around the clock. From my viewpoint, they were keeping their customer online experiences a number one priority.
I’ve seen it with several TD digital products including Clari™ on the mobile TD app – the AI-powered chatbot and TD MySpend, the real-time budgeting tool that can track my spending from my TD personal deposit and credit card accounts. To me, both of these digital services are great examples of how TD continues to evolve to help meet new customer needs. TD also made it easy to continue to manage my day-to-day banking needs thanks to its TD Ready Advice Hub, where customers can access financial tools and education and make appointments online.
Do you get now why it is SO important to quickly adapt, digitally?
Did you change your digital habits in 2020? Do you now expect more from your fav brands digitally throughout 2021?