Planning For Success After COVID-19: Customer Re-engagement

2021-04-09| Jamie Campbell

What’s changing?

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.

What do you need to do about it?

Our most successful clients who are managing to maintain and grow their engaged-customer bases are those that are:

  • Adapting processes and ways of working quickly to provide similar levels of normality and convenience to the ones customers desire.
  • Revisiting their current understanding of their customers through tools such as customer personas and journeys, and tweaking their engagement approach to match new needs. For example, the older generation has successfully engaged with digital channels, which goes against previous adoption norms for personas and presents an opportunity for new engagement strategies.
  • Undertaking critical evaluation of ROI on engagement methods to understand what to stop, start and continue going forward. A pharma company we are working with quickly evaluated their customer landscape and acted by redistributing their sales teams to focus on omni-channel hybrid approaches rather than traditional F2F selling.
  • Continuously measuring customer needs and preferences for products and services, and actioning this feedback by tailoring their propositions.
  • Focusing on the human touch through empathetic communications and check-ins, to demonstrate that they truly care about customer and employee wellbeing.
  • Harnessing the power of new technology. An insurance client we are working with has incorporated the use of customer service chatbots and strengthened their web chat capabilities, to counteract disruption caused by the pandemic to ensure a consistent customer experience.

How can we help?

Those companies who had cultivated strong customer and employee experiences before the pandemic have found it easier to evolve, adapt and engage with their customers. However, it’s never too late to initiate change and emerge from the pandemic stronger than before, and with more loyal customers.

PEN are working with many clients to understand how best to approach a post-Covid world, and identifying the best strategies for them.

If this or any of our other related COVID articles interest you then please get in touch with Helen Clark.


Further reading:

Planning For Success After COVID-19: Digitalisation

Planning For Success After COVID-19: Cost Efficiency

Contact Helen Clark:

Email: helen.clark@penpartnership.co.uk

Phone: +44 (0)7585 111 518

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