Customer experience has been suffering big time during the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses have started realizing the gap, which might even elongate once the lockdown ends. So, they need to focus on customer engagement and experience, but it is not so easy. The right approach can be defined as—businesses should reach out to the customers before they come to them worried and stressed. There are certain steps you need to comprehend when you plan to get in touch with the customers. It is how you undertake proactive customer experience in the age of COVID-19.

It is not as difficult as you think. Simple customer interaction can also generate an immediate and lingering effect on his or her sense of loyalty and trust. However, the point here is to bind them with your business in a way that they feel valued and cared for. It is the time when customer experience (CX) leaders should position themselves at the forefront during the crisis. From a bird’s-eye view, the approach of keeping a real-time pulse on changing customer preferences and rapidly innovating to redesign approach is going to be the key.

Long story short, tell them you are always on your toes or at their service, no matter what. Listed below are some points companies should start considering for a successful head start yet again after coronavirus ends.

Stand beside them (customers, employees, community)

More than ever, people now need extra information and support to know how to overcome the challenges and keep their families physically and mentally fit during the coronavirus pandemic. They want a resource they can trust and ensure that everything will be back to normal again.

When you speak to your customers in any form, try to offer genuine support. Some companies are lending out their hand such as Budweiser redeployed USD 5 million to American Red Cross, an amount that is usually spent on its sports and entertainment marketing budgets. In another instance, a company offered 30 days of free self-storage to college students who were supposed to vacate their dormitories. The government is encouraging credit card companies to waive-off interest on credit cards for a month, at least.

B2B SaaS companies must have a policy to manage contract cancellations. Some businesses have lost a part of their income and are trying to cut expenses. You can consider the crisis and waive the fee for a particular period or grant extensions for the same amount. After all, we are all in this together.

“Not only the customers, but your employees are also longing for your support during these tough times. In a situation where people are extremely concerned about their job and safety, many companies have pledged to continue paying workers their regular wages. Employers are helping them with new tools, training, and support to deliver superior customer experience in a new environment.”

Make use of your site

In the case of B2C companies, they are easily interacting with their customers in comparison to the B2B companies. As a B2B company, make sure you phrase your public messaging effectively.

Below are some valuable suggestions:

1. Don’t pretend everything is normal; go ahead and address the issue.

2. Add this to your content strategy if you aren’t doing it yet. Show gratitude toward your health workers and police force. Make sure to incorporate a positive gesture toward warriors who are fighting with coronavirus pandemic on behalf of us all.

3. Make sure to use the humor carefully, at the right place and time. Don’t be dark and depressing with the content; many of us have loved ones who are fighting with the disease.

4. As a go-to platform for many, don’t forget to extend hope whenever there is a chance. People will remember how you made them feel; it can be through an email, chatbot messaging, or a call. During the conversation, try to pass on the positive energy.

5. Most importantly, mind your tone and language. In the majority of cases, humans demand a human voice containing empathy. It might not be the right time to optimize things and show your skills, but to stand as a brand filled with emotion and compassion toward the pandemic.

Imagine you want to help but don’t get the right motivation. Maybe, your business feels like offering help to people but doesn’t know the way to approach. Consider these examples—Ford making face shields; Anheuser-Busch, a brewing company in America, producing hand sanitizers for small companies; and a tiny clothing maker and retailer SirPlus offering its shipping account to anyone that needs it. These are some of the inspiring examples around us.

You can look at how the tech giants across the world are giving back and contributing to the society during the crisis. Check out here!

Build up in silence

The right way to serve your customers is indeed by providing them the right product or service. But it is the time for us to face it – customers will not be buying or spending as much as they usually did throughout this crisis, and likely for some period thereafter. So, instead of pushing sales, focus on improving your digital user experience. It is again a brilliant method to enhance the customer experience when they are navigating across your website.

If you have further questions on how to go about improving digital user experience, button-up broken links, enhance user-interface, eliminate shopping cart errors or anything that makes customers leave your website or app. Think and analyze how consumers are going to respond to your products in the coming months. If you think your product remains insignificant due to high cost, try working on the cost strategy.

Add to it, e-commerce businesses can put a halt on paying a monthly fee to the delivery houses, to whom they usually pay for delivering the products to the customers. Why pay the fee when there are no delivery windows open?

Adopt agile innovation

Needs will be changing after lockdown as COVID-19 ends, we all know. Sooner the companies can fulfill new consumer needs during this time, better it will be for both. This refers to accelerating time to market for new customer experiences, rapidly prototyping and iterating, and releasing innovations at the earliest, rather than waiting to perfect the products.

It is time businesses consider building agility functions to handle changing customer circumstances. In addition to agile approaches, companies should examine their innovation pipeline and prioritize building new customer experiences that are in line with remote, digital, or home delivery trends. These approaches are likely to continue to accelerate and differentiate CX providers even after the COVID-19 world.

Consequently, double the use of social media during this time. Customers may not migrate automatically to the website or remote platforms. Connect with them on social media and redirect them where you want.

Wrapping up

We all are waiting for the crisis to get over. We all are in this together. We have been fighting to overcome and will do in a few months. However, we should not isolate ourselves as a brand, business, or public forum. Let the customers know that we aren’t connected to just profit and dividends. The relationship between a vendor and a customer is beyond this, and it involves empathy and support.

Customer experience has taken on a new dimension in the challenge against COVID-19. Businesses that care and innovate during this crisis and anticipate how customers will change their habits shall be rewarded with nothing but lasting relationships with their customers. It is the time to build up future trends, resolve glitches, and support those who have made you what you are today.  For more such insights on customer management and customer experience, you may access our latest whitepapers on Sales and Marketing.