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The Changing Landscape of Customer Experience

image credit: Stock photo purchased and edited by Dusk Mobile

The last couple of months have transformed life as we once knew it for all of us. Your customers are in a very different place as a consequence of potentially different factors, both in your control as and out of your control as a leader.

Business models that were heavily reliant on foot traffic with physical premises and volume of customers underpinning their business have been hit particularly hard. Those businesses with an online presence or mobility in their model, have fared slightly better but we are still in the early days of this pandemic.

So as a leader, what can you do today to be there for your customers and emerge into the, as yet, unknown with those customers in the months and years ahead?

This week I take a look at 4 areas that are worth exploring further but prefaced with one overarching guide, showing care for your existing and new customers. In my opinion customer care, more than ever before will be the be all and end all for businesses in this current climate. Furthermore, care now includes compassion. Treading carefully and being there for your customers is the name of the game.

As a customer, I’m pleased to see how many organisations have done this to date with immediate financial relief, either temporarily or permanently.

1. Revisit your customer journey

Without wanting to state the obvious, this should be the starting point. Even if your business has experienced minimal disruption so far, it may not be immune to future events so being on the front foot is worthwhile. Where do your customers need to come in from now and how can you help them get to where they need to go? What additional support do they need and how can your business provide that?

2. Inject the human element

There are a multitude of technologies available today for communication to connect with your customers. These technologies have increasingly grown to provide a more “human” element to interactions. Whether it is video calling or well structured chat mechanisms and some underlying artificial intelligence (AI) with quick exits to real people in the event of a journey not being able to be completed.

3. Be where your customers are

As at today, restricted movement is front of mind for your customers. The freedom to visit your business is likely not there currently but just because the world has stopped moving, doesn’t mean your customers lives have completely stopped. Can your business offer a pickup/delivery service from their home? This may have been a niche, non-starter idea 3 months ago but could be the lifeblood today. Consider ways to make your customers lives easier and integrate to take pressure away.

Physical touch should be considered and with this model and introducing hygiene and education into the process, while working within the regulations.

4. Prepare for a new world

The term “rip the Band-Aid off” has never been more real than it is today for embracing technology as a way of life. There are those who feel this is a phase that will pass eventually and those that believe this is here to stay in some form. As a business leader, I would prepare for the latter.

Even if life permits us to return to a setup similar to that of months ago, not everyone will want to. Your customers will be more comfortable staying online, shopping locally and avoiding large crowded areas. Being prepared for this with a robust online channel for your business is going to be a key medium moving forward

If done successfully, your business will be remembered for the right reasons by your customers, as a caring compassionate proactive organisation from this time but also in the years ahead.

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Alan King's picture

Thank Alan for the Post!

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