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The pandemic may be easing up in many parts of the world, but its effects will forever shape how we live, work and shop.
The past two years have brought unbelievable challenges and changes. Throughout the uncertainty, people have evaluated their priorities and lifestyles. A full 50% of consumers say the pandemic caused them to rethink their purpose and reevaluate what’s important in life.
Serving post-pandemic customers means understanding those changes and trends. Today’s customers demand fast, digital solutions. They want instant gratification from their choices and to be able to make purchases through convenient digital (and social) channels. COVID caused companies to pivot to new services and expand the experience economy. Customers also want more transparency and to know they are making responsible purchase decisions. And advancements in technology have significantly increased robotics and automation, especially to combat labor shortages and supply chain challenges.
Almost nothing we knew about customers is relevant after COVID-19. Wondering what’s in store for businesses in the next 5 years? Get ready. Take out your notepad on March 10th.
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Understanding the trends is only half the story. True success comes from implementing those insights into effective CX strategies.
Here are three strategies to tap into all areas of customer experience and reach post-pandemic customers:
One of the biggest drivers behind a successful CX strategy is a customer-centric mindset. Companies that embody this mindset make every decision with the customer in mind and go out of their way to make customers’ lives easier, even if it makes their lives harder.
A CX mindset goes hand in hand with the company culture. There’s a reason companies that are ranked best places to work and have the best cultures are also companies that excel at customer experience. But employees are burnt out from the pandemic and the stress of dealing with constant changes. Supporting your employees during challenges and providing them the resources they need builds that strong culture and helps them put customers first.
Customer-centric leaders are especially crucial during uncertain times when customers and employees look to leaders to be transparent and authentic. When a leader sets the tone to put customers first, it spreads through the company so that every employee knows the importance of their role.
What does a psychological approach to customer experience look like in a post-pandemic world? It requires getting into the mind of your customers to know how they have changed, what they value, the challenges they face and what they are looking for. When companies practice empathy, they can see things from their customers’ perspectives and offer relevant experiences.
Technology plays a crucial role in successful customer experiences, but it isn’t everything. The right technology strikes a balance between being innovative while also being effective. Simply chasing the latest shiny technology isn’t practical, but neither is sticking with outdated technology.
Digital strategy has always been important, but especially over the last two years when so much of our lives has moved online. Digital transformation is no longer just a nice idea; it’s a must-have for customer-centric companies. Those digital solutions must be rooted in a psychological understanding of customers to match their needs and preferences.
Every company today is a technology company. Customers expect to interact with you on a variety of channels and get automated and fast responses. That means leveraging data analytics and AI for customer solutions and providing a seamless internal experience. When contact center employees have multiple tabs open during a call and are focused on navigating complex systems, they can’t connect with customers and provide personalized service.
Post-COVID customers want intentional technology that understands them and makes their lives easier to improve in-person, web-based and mobile experiences.
Every interaction a customer has with a brand—no matter how small—contributes to the overall experience. Companies have to be in the business of engineering experiences.
The experiential approach is where the rubber meets the road. This is your chance to put into action everything you know about the customer to build a strong relationship. Experiential success comes down to the details. The best brands focus on the user experience and creating an intuitive and simple interaction. A customer might not think about the experience of checking their account or messaging a brand because it is so easy and intuitive—that’s the sign of success.
Life has been heavy during the pandemic. Experiences should be simple, personalized and convenient. Every time your company interacts with a customer, from the contact center to the physical store to the website and social media, the customer should have a consistent experience that meets their needs and improves their life.
These three CX strategies are timeless, but they are critical to remember when adjusting to post-COVID customers. Understanding how customers have changed and the trends can help companies align their strategy and continually evolve their CX efforts to connect with customers, no matter the situation.