Businesses need to adapt to a new world order at warp speed. How they meet this moment will influence their trajectory for years to come.
The Covid-19 global humanitarian and economic crisis has left an indelible mark on global consumers.
As the crisis deepens, incremental improvements by organisations to adapt to changing customer behaviour no longer seem to suffice. Beyond the immediate fallout of this pandemic, customer experience has emerged as one of the key challenges facing business leaders.
Leading organisations have instituted new tools such as digital surveys and practices like social listening and sentiment analysis to track, analyse, and act on behavioural signals. Now the bigger challenge is to deliver a customer experience not just to stand out, but to pivot, reassess, innovate, and transform.
What’s visible in the industry
Movement patterns have flipped. Customers are housebound and vulnerable. Employees have atomised and adjusted their daily working practices. Supply chains are being disrupted. Physical stores are increasingly pulling down their shutters.
The customers are now more mindful of their spending. Stay-at-home orders have accelerated the transition from in-person to digital channels. Public safety has become a top priority for businesses and consumers alike in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) environment.
No longer can businesses devise strategies based on simple analytics and a gut feel about their customers’ needs and preferences. Businesses must jump years in a few months to offer digital customer experiences that are simple, intuitive, and reliable.
From reactive to proactive crisis management
The traditional crisis-response playbook is now broken. As the companies outline macro scenarios and prepare scenario-based contingency plans of action, the focus of this entire generation of business leaders is shifting from reactive to proactive crisis management.
Businesses have configured senior, dedicated, cross-functional war room teams focussed on tackling immediate challenges, finding innovative operational models and technologies to safeguard liquidity and recover the business today, and retool the business for the future.
To win in the new normal, companies need to identify the current noticeable customer behaviour that will define customer experience in the near term. Companies need to rethink strategic priorities and build capabilities fast to leapfrog stages of customers’ evolution in the new normal and use digitalisation to bolster operations