The Covid-19 has impacted lives across the world in more ways than one. Businesses today are practically redefining the meaning of success – and that’s the right way. Beginning with schools relaxing the fee payment until the next term begins to businesses re-inventing strategies to suit employee and customer requirements, it’s changing the E-Sat and CX game altogether.
Remember, what businesses do today is what defines their future after the pandemic. You may have great funds to help you sail through, or your business may not have been impacted much, BUT the impact you create via employee engagement and customer experiences in these difficult times is what helps you become a BRAND worthy of recommendation. After all, in times of uncertainty, customers always lean strongly towards the familiar, and trust plays a huge factor here.
So what should businesses ideally be doing now?
1. Your frontline staff have the answers
Your frontline staff who are constantly interacting with customers sure have a pulse on customer sentiments during a crisis like the Covid-19. Map out the data they provide in terms customer sentiments, demands and requirements and analyse if you need to find new solutions or can provide a whole new service that can benefit your customers in these difficult times.
2. Respond to your customers proactively and establish a flexible policy
In a crisis your customer wants you to act fast and also provide a seamless experience. So let go of regular practices as long as the crisis lasts and do what’s right by the customer. Be empathetic. If you need to increase the average call time for customer support do it; if you need to introduce a new plan that can help customers sail through this difficult hour, do it; if you can afford to provide credit or relax payment schedules, do it. Remember, small allowances that you make today can prove to benefit your customers dramatically and help them build trust in your brand.
Pharmacies, for instance, have been home delivering medicines within their localities to people who are unable to pick up their pills in person. Bistros and restaurants are locally home delivering food and are also joining hands with their customers to provide free food to the economically weaker sections of the society. Health insurances are offering a free upgrade to a Coronavirus protection cover, while a few telecommunication brands are stepping up their home internet services to ensure seamless wi-fi connectivity to the large student and white-collar workforce working from home.
3. Equip your staff work-wise and emotionally
Your staff are facing one of the two concerns right now –
- They are overburdened with work if they are working in an essential services industry, which means as the leadership of an organisation it is important that you take the right steps to ensure your employees don’t burn out.
- They are terribly anxious about the future of their employment. The job market is bleak in certain industries and several organisations have initiated pay-cuts (a choice over lay-offs) to manage funds.
Irrespective of the situation, show an empathetic ear to your staff. Listen to their problems and adopt a flexible, compassion and prudent business model that will help you avoid churn.
4. Improve CX at all touchpoints
A crisis is the right time to power up you customer retention. This is the best time to ask your customers for feedback at every touchpoint or interaction they have with your brand. Analyse such feedback qualitatively and act immediately to improvise. It will help you understand your customers’ journeys with your brand better.
And then, close the loop. Inform your customers of the action taken following their feedback. Make them feel heard and cared for even during these stressful times.
Remember, if you pay attention to your customers’ needs and act upon them, you’ve won their trust.
5. Enhance your relationship with your Promoters
Your Promoters already love you. Now is the time to deepen that relationship. This is the time to appreciate their support for your brand and support them in return in whatever you can. Even as businesses need to pause their growth during a crisis, they must appreciate the people who supported them during their journey.
CX is not just a job function within a brand. It is long-term relationship that a business builds over a period of time because it is the Customer that helps a Brand evolve strategically and improve constantly with just his Loyalty and Trust. When a customer trusts that you are a brand that is committed to making him feel valued and are here to stay, he will become that valuable partner and promoter that will even help you tide through critical situations like the Covid-19 or any economic downturn.