COVID or Not – Deliver Exceptional Customer Experience!

COVID19 or not, the fundamentals of exceptional CX remain the same – Trust, Empathy and Clear Communication.

“Never let a good crisis go to waste”; a sentiment more used in politics, which nevertheless has importance in many other fields one being Customer Experience. With exceptional crisis, the opportunities available can be equally exceptional.

 

Deliver exceptional customer experience

 

Does a pandemic like COVID19 change the fundamental principles of CX? Does it change the acceptable level of Customer Trust? Does it make Organisations less empathetic towards their Customers? These are valid questions, but the fundamentals do not change, just the way they are executed!

Is exceptional CX possible in times of crisis?

We have all been presented with perhaps the most challenging situation for quite some time, and with the lockdown, our limits are being tested. Organisations are feeling the pinch as they cannot meet their customers in person, and in turn, the Customers cannot reciprocate. We cannot underestimate the power of face-to-face interaction as opposed to a call or video conference – not the best of options, but that is all we have available, and we should make the best move with the hand we have been dealt.

One may argue that the situation is so extraordinary that there is no possible way to deliver exceptional CX, although, one can take this crisis as a unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stand out from the competition, cement that trust with their customers and make them their raving fans!

So, what can organisations do differently to ensure they keep delivering the exceptional CX their Customers’ have been promised? Well, there are many moving parts, and each one needs to change the way it should be delivered. The areas where companies should make changes are what we will look into in this blog.

The three main areas which need exceptional change are:

  1. Changes within an Organisation
  2. Changes in Communication Strategy
  3. Addressing the unspoken needs

 

Changes within an Organisation

The single most important thing where an organisation should start with is a concise strategy on what needs to change and how. Be mindful of the needs of the workforce, as a workforce struggling with personal issues while at work will be to nobody’s benefit – provide work from home where possible!

Whether it’s a board member dealing with shareholders, the management planning strategy, or the workforce executing set strategy – each individual needs to be on the same page, communicating the same clear message. That’s a solid way to not just avoid confusion but to also provide clarity in these confusing times, to which your customers are no strangers.

Every individual will have their own unique needs, so what’s required is to listen to your employees and customers with empathy, ease their anxiety, and to assure them you have a solution. Gratitude is a very powerful thing, and it works like magic on all of us, so show gratitude to your workforce who continue to deliver and serve your customers, and to your customers for trusting you and being patient in these trying times.

Pandemics will come and go, but how you treat your Customers & Employees, will decide if they will stay with you going forward!

 

Changes in Communication Strategy

If you are still communicating to just make sales, you may be poisoning your own business. The need of the hour is communicating to listen and understand and make things as easy as possible for your customers and employees – your biggest assets.

On the customer front, provide transparent communication and assurance, with a clear action plan your company will be taking to keep delivering value to them. And, of course, a gesture of gratitude to thank your customers for being patient and maintaining their trust for you can work wonders! We are all human, so we all need assurances, do we not? Proactivity can play a critical role here to differentiate you from your competitors.

As an example, the way delivery is prioritized to certain demographics, like the elderly who are more vulnerable, is a good way of keeping your customers informed of the changes and new norms. Being aware of the delays and knowing the reasons for them is preferable to waiting days on to get your deliveries without knowing why and perhaps even worrying that the purchase has been lost or stolen!

Clear, transparent, and honest communication can bring much-needed visibility and clarity to all the blind spots a crisis creates!

 

Addressing the unspoken needs

No one is better placed to inform an organisation on the quality of their services than the customers. Just collecting the feedback alone is not enough. The value of the right tools that help you to derive useful insights, ‘look through’ the loopholes in your offerings, tell you how your customers are feeling, and devise strategies based on these insights to improve, cannot be underestimated.

Some obvious customer needs are ever-present. As an example, if a customer must shop online, the obvious expectations and needs are a seamless online experience, soonest availability dates for out-of-stock products, simple check-outs, and the expected delivery date. While these are usually managed well, organisations can make a difference by addressing the unspoken needs of their customers which can vary based on their individual circumstances.

Taking the same online shopping example, in these difficult times, a customer also has several unspoken needs, for example, a contactless delivery of their goods, proper hygiene during packaging and delivery and proactive communication about out-of-stock products or delays – if these unspoken needs can be read and delivered upon, they will surely help to win the customers’ trust.

Customers may not always be explicit about what they need, but reading and delivering on their unspoken needs is a surprise that every customer deserves – That’s what makes organisations deliver exceptional CX, no matter how big or small the crisis is!

If you are thinking of devising innovative ways of delivering exceptional CX, whether it’s a time of crisis or not, talk to us, and allow us to show you what Notion Edge can do to help your organization deliver exceptional CX!

Email at Notion Edge

Author

Ankur Godre,

SAP CX Principal Architect/Practice Lead

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