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Consumers most likely to trust compassionate, transparent and engaged businesses after lockdown, survey reveals

Support for the local community, as well as their own staff and frontline workers emerged as the most important thing a business or brand must demonstrate in order to win customers back into pubs, bars, restaurants, cafés and stores.

  • 65% were more likely to trust a business after lockdown ends that supported their community, staff and other frontline workers; and,
    60% are looking for them to have been clear about health and safety measures
  • A survey into consumer attitudes towards out-of-home activities has revealed what retail and hospitality businesses must do to build trust among consumers as lockdown eases.

Support for the local community, as well as their own staff and frontline workers emerged as the most important thing a business or brand must demonstrate in order to win customers back into pubs, bars, restaurants, cafés and stores.

Clarity about health and safety measures they’ve taken during lockdown was second on consumers’ list of priorities, closely followed by keeping them informed with timely, relevant communications, which was cited by 58%. A further 25% said they would be more inclined to choose a business or brand post-lockdown that offers promotions and/or a loyalty programme that rewards them for their continued custom.

The survey, carried out by digital ordering company, QikServe, and digital loyalty technology provider, Eagle Eye Solutions, confirms that consumers want operators and brands they were loyal to before lockdown to have continued communicating and acting with purpose, in spite of any constrained ability to trade. Two in five (41%), however, said that a business that had continued trading during lockdown – including online-only for delivery or click & collect – would also add confidence to their decision to also visit its venues or stores post-lockdown.

The survey reveals how businesses and brands with an already established base of loyal customers before the pandemic, and that were also to able to build consumer trust during lockdown, will be most likely to attract customers back to their physical, as well as digital, destinations in coming months. Even though the majority (56%) of consumers said they would feel more or less the same about retailers, hospitality operators and brands that they had been loyal to before lockdown, 25% of those surveyed said they would be more likely to trust those they had been loyal to previously afterwards.

The most effective channel for customer communication is a venue or store’s own website, as this was the place most consumers (84%) said they would visit to access information about any potential purchase or trip, while just under a third (29%) would visit a mobile app if it had one. Though the venue’s own website was by far the most likely way for them to find out about plans to reopen and extra measures and safety reassurances, social media also emerged as a more popular source of this information (57%) than even a web or map search (51%).

When it comes to ‘non-essential’ sectors likely to benefit from consumers venturing out, the survey already revealed that visiting a restaurant is top of the list of things that consumers are looking forward to when they venture out.

“As well as being good news for the hospitality industry, the fact that consumers are keen to eat out proves how well operators and brands have responded to the pandemic, despite facing significant challenges themselves,” commented Al Henderson, Chief Sales Officer of Eagle Eye.

“The survey reveals just how important it is for brands and operators to engage with customers digitally, even when venues are forced to close, to keep them up to date on response efforts, as well as safety measures, and to potentially maintain some sales through online ordering for home delivery,” he added. “As lockdown eases, these digital capabilities will be even more important in building on the loyalty and trust that consumers are looking for during this time.”

Daniel Rodgers, President and Founder of QikServe, said: “With continued social distancing likely to restrict the numbers of customers that retail and hospitality operators can serve, and therefore the amount of revenue that can be generated from their social spaces, generating loyalty by building not only trust, but also convenience, into the customer experience using digital will become even more important going forward. Those who have already benefited from digital ordering capabilities, can now extend these services to entice customers back and boost footfall.”

Live Webinar: Understanding post-lockdown hospitality trends: the steps Food & Beverage businesses can take to recovery

Join Eagle Eye’s Chief Sales Officer, Al Henderson, and Head of Industry Insight, Miya Knights, along with QikServe’s Founder and President, Daniel Rodgers, and Chief Revenue Officer, Nick Hucker on a webinar to get a first look at more survey findings on Tuesday 23 June from 11:00 to 11:45 am BST. Register here.

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