Customer experience may often be one of those business principles that individuals and brands alike may think they wholly embody, but the wider picture reveals that crucial steps may have been missed. The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a further light on the problems within the practice as the world continues to adapt to a new way of working. In a time where connection is arguably the most essential aspect of our livelihoods, how important is customer experience – and how can brands get it right?
There has been a large shift in consumer priority stemming back to the products themselves, with a greater need for consumer empathy to be taking place within the business practice. With good customer experience making a brand ‘strong’ within itself, there is now a greater chance than ever for problems to arise, with changes to working patterns allowing for a higher possibility of miscommunication, resulting in consumers not feeling heard or catered for – effecting brand loyalty in the long run. To avoid such pitfalls, brands can look back to their foundations to become firmly re-established in their purpose. Brands will need to clearly identify their different purpose drivers (whether that’s in a social or commercial sense) in order to be able to act on them. Why does your brand exist? Delivering brand values well at a consistent level will ultimately bring in a greater profit.
Experts describe the most successfully implemented process as “having a purpose and behaving on purpose”, as well as using the crisis itself as a chance to rethink and reboot. Alongside overall purpose, factors such as personalisation and the ability to move quickly will also stand a brand in good stead during uncertain times. The core principles of customer experience and business remain unlikely to change because of the pandemic, and a strategy of scrutinising the details of what your brand purpose or experience will be rather than how it is implemented could lead to better levels of structure and creativity. Within the business itself, it is critical to ensure that any employees are empowered to deal with tricky situations and avert a crisis. Putting into place desired behaviour and outlining a crystal-clear guidance can help to achieve the best results, as well as developing the right tools to create a possible map for future business. If errors are seen not only as a learning experience, but also as an opportunity to learn and grow, both employees and consumers can resonate with transparency and willingness. A strong brand is one with clear purpose, great customer focus and aligned with the needs of the people – all traits that are sorely needed as ramifications from the pandemic continue.
Image source: peoplemanagement.co.uk