Preparing for new consumer truths in the post-COVID-19 world (Part II)
More than 4 billion people around the world are in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been well over 4 weeks and we are gradually moving towards a return to normalcy. However, given the nature of this pandemic, it sounds easier in theory. In reality, everything is about to change.
In our previous post, we discussed the emerging business challenges in the post-COVID-19 world. Now, let’s talk about the steps you must take to effectively respond to the opportunities in the new, post-pandemic world.
Addressing new customer priorities
As the world reopens, the return to normal will be a slow process. People will continue to be guarded socially and regaining confidence may take weeks, maybe even months. As a result, building trust will become a strategic priority, and organizations will need to redraw their customer strategies to regain customer confidence.
Read our latest blog on how to prepare for new consumer truths in the post-COVID-19 world (Part I). || Our Digital Strategy Practice creates long-term digital roadmaps by leveraging people, processes, and tools to improve efficiency and innovation.
The first step to do this would be to conduct an end-to-end customer experience audit and build a remedial plan based on the audit findings. Businesses must use personas and journeys and determine where reassurance will be needed that services are reliable and safe. While the key factors impacting customer perception may vary by industry, there will be a universal move towards basics such as hygiene and cleanliness. As a business, you should focus on rethinking your marketing strategy, sales channels, resize budgets, and optimize your marketing op model.
Balancing the ‘virtual’ with the ‘real’
While the move to virtual is here to stay, businesses will have to think of ways to balance it with the ‘real’. In the immediate term, virtual experiences will rule but as things normalize, the basic human instinct of seeking tangible experiences may take over. Businesses must make a distinction between functional needs (basic survival needs) and deeper human needs (experiences and aesthetics). While markets for the seekers of real shopping experiences will reopen with time, it is the former that will drive demand in the current scenario.
Organizations must start with a content audit assessment to review assets that can be repurposed for virtual usage. Next, they must adapt their channel strategy and move offline customer support agents to online. In addition, they should make retail sales assistants available through virtual collaboration apps such as Microsoft Teams. Businesses must also shift customer connections online, and deploy virtual platforms to connect customers with real-life experts. They must also consider training requirements and new hardware and software investments to support new ways of collaborating.
Benefiting from the stay at home trend
As people spend more time at home, brands expect to see increased spending in home comfort. Many experts believe this is a big opportunity. How can brands make the most of it?
As a first step, brands must strategize to unlock capacity at scale so that service shutdown is avoided. Next, they must orient their delivery and marketing channels to focus on the home and craft messaging around it. While they do this, brands must also focus on accelerating digital transformation to streamline their eCommerce operations. They must take care of employee experience along with customer experience, and incentivize customer-facing staff such as call center agents and delivery personnel to monitor and report on customer behavior.
As the pandemic begins to recede, we are slowly moving towards a gradual removal of the lockdown. The return to normal will be gradual and progressive. For businesses, it is more important than ever to adapt to the new normal, from increasing investments in growing virtual communication infrastructures to finding ways that ensure restoration of customer trust and confidence. The road ahead may not be easy but it holds lessons for businesses on how the human spirit can overcome the harshest of adversities.
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