COVID-19’s impact has completely altered customer expectations. And most won’t be looking to turn back the clock and return to the same preferences, channels, and relationships as before. The change to digital as the default has forced once resistant customer groups to change their behaviour. People-focused and relationship-driven businesses have had to increase the variety of channels and methods they use to adapt to a more diverse customer base.
And while initially forgiving, customers now demand a consistent and hassle-free experience, even with business rules and regulations in a constant state of flux.
The shift from a volume to a value-driven economy has revealed the stark differences between companies with purpose/value-driven cultures, and those that only care about the bottom line with little consideration for customer relationships or employee wellbeing.
How will this impact you?
With customer preferences changing, engagement strategies must be flexible to account for differences in age, location, class, beliefs, and numerous other customer characteristics.
Organisations must focus on the development of trust between customers and employees - constantly emphasising the value of their products, services, and of the organisation itself. Through clear and regular communication, this careful nurturing of trust will ensure longevity.
The rise of digital self-service has meant that customer engagement has become a two-way street across all businesses, with entire industries shifting to a remote engagement model in less than a year - but the evolution should not stop there.