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The Current Crisis Brings Customers Closer Than Ever Before

Opinion and Insight 277 Add to collection
Huge's executive experience director Scott MacGregor looks at how to sustain business during the cultural shift of Covid-19
The Current Crisis Brings Customers Closer Than Ever Before

While systems are breaking down, relationships are being built and strengthened on a whole new level explains Scott MacGregor, executive experience director, Huge.

You may be temporarily hindered, but you are not broken. Now is the time to sustain your business and begin to evolve into a company that will shape and lead the future. For every industry, the cultural and economic shift of Covid-19 is forcing organisations to accelerate transformation. It’s not just about building digital capabilities and creating omnichannel experiences, but how businesses plan to service customers in the future. 

This transition is a struggle for all, but may be less difficult for organisations who have already invested in agile methodologies and design thinking practices. Ingrained processes and inflexible systems can be barriers. Yet, for those who refuse to be paralysed by the ever-changing situation, opportunities may arise within the chaos.


There has never been a better time to talk to users.

Customers have never been more critical about every aspect of your business than right now. Your impact on their lives reveal new insights and opportunities that help to forge a longer-lasting, more meaningful relationship. They’re not just counting on you to deliver groceries, they’re counting on you to deliver food for their family and presents for their kids’ birthdays. As a result, every aspect of the customer journey - from research to fulfilment - is being increasingly scrutinised.  

This is presenting organisations with unique opportunities to learn and take action. Those who are prioritising their connection with users are now gaining insights that might not have been possible to uncover before. This can help improve the current experience and uncover opportunities to create new products and services. Users want to talk. As we’ve found in our own user interviews, they are more than willing to find time to connect if it will help improve the experience. 

 

Now is time to take bigger bets on digital.

Digital has always been an important part of the customer experience. As a result, systems, processes and governances are limiting how quickly they can adapt to the new reality. Many companies are redirecting funds to enable seamless online experiences in hopes of maintaining customers, driving revenue and shifting business models at record speeds.

Western Union is piloting 'Digital Location' where customers can connect with agents to complete transactions. This shift is important considering 85% of their revenue in Q4 2019 came from sources other than westernunion.com. A large financial institution has retrained staff to build custom relief plans for clients in severe financial stress caused by the economic fallout, and a large car insurance provider is issuing refunds for customers in lockdown. While some restaurants are switching to home delivery systems, others are implementing grocery delivery to keep their supply chains moving. 

Experiments like 'Digital Location' are becoming increasingly important as we look to find new ways to service customers and deliver revenue streams. While it may seem counterintuitive to increase spending due to market uncertainty and altered consumer spending ability, the bigger risk may be trying to weather the storm with hopes that things return to normal. A recent poll from Business Insider revealed that 75% of US consumers will avoid shopping centers and 53% will avoid shops in general if the outbreak worsens. With so many people flooding to ecommerce, companies need to ensure they will be able to succeed where customer expectations may be radically different. 

  

Building resilience internally: power the new normal.

Only half the challenge is reimagining a customer experience that will power business in the new landscape we’re heading toward. Success will come from businesses designing internal services, policies and platforms that empower employees to deliver upon the vision. 

For many, this economic disruption has exposed numerous gaps that are fundamentally blocking their ability to serve customers. Today, organisations are being forced to rapidly rethink their service designs to weather the current storm and become leaders in the new landscape.

  

The time to act is now.

Our lives are massively shifting. Companies will emerge as leaders if they can tap into this cultural change and understand the progress users are trying to achieve and use it to inform a transformed user experience. Whether through product or service, business strategy, operating models or technology infrastructure, change is imperative. It’s time to ignite the agile culture we’ve been talking about for years and innovate like the survival of our businesses depend on it. For many, it does.


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Huge USA, Thu, 07 May 2020 16:42:51 GMT