There is no doubt that COVID-19 has revolutionised 2020 for lives across the globe. From vulnerable populations, companies to teams, the impact has been drastic. It has forced companies to rethink their strategies in terms of growth, customer experience, and marketing. Customer satisfaction requires that customers get what they need immediately. In the times of the coronavirus pandemic specially, a primary meter that will set businesses apart is customer experience. How businesses are meeting customer expectations and delivering as per their needs is a huge factor that will decide the value of the business.

Customer experience also requires leaders to put themselves at the receiving end in these times to see how it benefits or impacts customers. A real-time pulse or note on customer behaviour will be helpful in redesigning customer journey touchpoints according to the current global pandemic.

Customer Experience:  The Pandemic Scenario

Customer experience in the times needs to be centred on care, empathy, concern, and value. Customers may be collectively traumatized, under a lockdown, face the risk of exposure, mental illness or more. These can significantly increase financial worries and impact day to day activities. Customer experience is important because it is the base for retention. A brand is more likely to be chosen if the customer loves the experience. If the coronavirus pandemic has given a single lesson, it is that we must not forget that humans are our target audience. Thus, customer experience must be human-centric to give the best value.

Some key points you need to keep in mind include-

  • Learn if your customers’ experiences and expectations have changed due to the pandemic
  • Know what the new key performance indicators for the company are
  • Do not become an aggressive marketer
  • Be open, transparent, and show genuine care for your customers
  • Innovatively reward customer loyalty
  • Be ready for new challenges

Five Steps that will enhance Customer Experience in the Pandemic

Re-imagine the post-COVID-19 business environment

Economic hard situations will force cuts in cost. Companies need to understand the migration in terms of digital approaches to boost customer satisfaction. Brick and mortar stores will have lesser relevance in this period. The life later will have completely changed. This means that technologies who power these experiences must revamp themselves post-COVID-19. If your customer experience strategy is aligned with customer expectations post-COVID-19, you are pivoted for success. If your customer experience strategy fits in the COVID-19 discussion, you are already making strides to success.

Focus on concern and care of customers

Instead of barging surveys on your customers, care for them. Proactively reach out to your customers. Respond with concrete ways to solve their issues. Reach out to support them. Make your customer community a priority. Reiterate company values and purpose and stay true to it. Your empathy matters most to customers in these unprecedented times. You need to collect the right information from customers to make sure they get the right attention. In these times of disruption, you need to enhance customer support to grow in the best manner possible.

Go digital to enhance customer experience

Digital delivery has become compulsory. Product adoption online has become very common. Rapid development of digital functionalities will make it easier for customers to connect. Post COVID-19, there is no doubt that digital is the new normal. Companies who have shifted to the digital space find it easier to increase adoption and maintain customer relationships. It is also necessary to understand the fallacies of the digital environment. Some systems work differently from others and may give a limited impact.

Build capabilities for these testing times

Maintaining a good customer experience needs one to understand changing business dynamics. Customer leaders who understand how the business environment is will only be able to create value in this era. Use social media for understanding customers well. Use innovative models to get customers aboard. Use new tools, technologies, and actions to drive results. Make your action result oriented.  Build your capacities up in these times to enhance your chances of survival in the competitive market. A first mover advantage can go a long way in making you enhance customer experience this pandemic.

Adapt your CX strategy to suit the pandemic

Your customer experience strategy pre-pandemic might have been great. Now you need to critically review the experience you are delivering. Your customer experience strategy is important because it needs to be planned that way. You need to redefine your customer experience. Personalising and boosting the engagement with your customers at every touchpoint and interaction is important. This will lead to improved loyalty and engagement.

Some important pointers to be kept in mind while going digital during the pandemic-

  • Digital inclusivity and technology are gaining prominence with the pandemic.
  • Customer experience in the pandemic needs to be driven to enhance the safety of customers.
  • Connect from home initiatives are getting laurels for their innovative approach.
  • Keeping an idea of the possible cyber breaches or attacks is also important.
  • You need to carry out a safe assessment of patterns that are applicable to your sector.
  • Maintain a consistent experience for your customers with the new digital normal
  • Keep a strong focus on your analytics and data as mastering them will derive great value in the times of the pandemic.
  • Empower your customers by educating them about the innovative features of the product.

Bottom Line: Investing in CX Will pay off in the long run

The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity for organizations to forge better connections with customers and improve loyalty. Companies can improve customer experience by meeting or exceeding expectations. Regardless of location, digital expertise, physical challenges, and time, customers can get the experience they want. Only organizations that invest in digital growth will elevate this season to build lifelong relationships with customers.

As Michelle Dean said, “Crisis forces commonality of purpose on one another.” This holds true as brands are trying to connect through new experiences to enhance customer retention during the pandemic. It is essential to deliver human-centric experiences to connect better with customers in these turbulent times.

Originally Published on techiazi.com