The world’s current pandemic is forcing companies to reassess their business operations, including their products and services, as well as their marketing practices. Of course, any changes to these factors is really just a way for businesses to profitably respond to changing customer need. Indeed, enhancing the customer experience can be a crucial way for businesses to maintain their relevance at any time, but especially during a crisis. Here are a few tips for managing the customer experience when times get tough:
We all know how important it is for a business to be visible. During a crisis, whether it’s an emergency within a company’s own ranks or a systemic problem affecting society as a whole — we’re looking at you, COVID-19 — remaining top-of-mind and trustworthy, will likely be the key to solvency. Trust, after all, is what attracts customers and keeps them coming back to a company. Now is the time for a company to enhance both its external and internal communications so that customers and employees alike recognize that it is actively focused on the crisis at hand and is seeking ways to meet the needs of all involved.
A crisis necessarily affects when and how customers reach out to a company. Thus, businesses must reimagine their customer and employee interactions, finding new ways to interact with consumers, as well as their own staff, so that meaningful contact is never lost. This could mean that companies boost their points of contact, increasing their social media presence, offering enhanced call center capacity and/or providing more technical support for their products. It could also mean expanding delivery options or restructuring manufacturing processes. Carefully considering customer service vs customer support, in particular, and the ways in which each influence consumer and employee loyalty means companies can potentially mitigate the repercussions stemming from strains to production and/or decreased consumer activity.
Don’t add to consumer or employee burdens by asking them to solve problems for you. Instead, listen. Find ways to monitor relevant chatter instead of directly soliciting feedback. Digital channels are especially suited to this type of review since they can save money and accelerate the information gathering process, thereby permitting businesses the opportunity to implement change at a quicker pace.
A pandemic may be a once-in-a-lifetime event, but other crises will certainly impact companies over the course of their lives. Maintaining focus on a superior customer experience will undoubtedly be the key to sustainability and — ultimately — profitability!