Planning For Success After COVID-19: Product & Service Offering

2021-05-13 |  Jamie Campbell

What is changing?

COVID has highlighted the divide between the companies are who are aligned with their customer needs and provide an excellent service (e.g. efficient refunds, 24/7 support and flexible arrangements) versus those who are lagging behind in terms of customer experience and support.

Customers are increasingly cognizant of the customer experience provided, which is made up of their perception of a company’s services, support and reputation as well as products. The quality of the product is only one factor in a customer’s purchasing decision alongside value for money and access to ongoing support services. Recent research by the Temkin Group shows that 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience, highlighting the increasing importance a customer’s experience of products and service play compared to price.

This shift has been accelerated by COVID as mentioned in our previous article on Digitalisation, with the need for flexible and tailored digital services being more important than ever which form key parts of a customer’s experience.

How will this impact you?

What is it that you sell and how do you make money from it? Is it a product or are you selling an outcome and an experience?

Are you selling for volume or value? Has your customer offering been reviewed or changed recently to respond to new COVID related opportunities and pain points?

How has COVID shifted your target customer preferences and how you serve them?

These are fundamental questions that sit at the very heart of redefining the role your products and services play in your customer’s lives. To answer these questions requires a clear strategic vision of where you see your company playing in the future. During this turbulent environment, it is an ideal opportunity to reflect, plan and act to improve your product and service offering to better meet customer expectations.

What do you need to do about it?

  • Build an overall view of your customer and their journey, as well as a detailed map of individual touchpoints, collating data from multiple sources to get the most accurate picture of who your customers are and what their needs / pain points are. Using previous journeys as a starting point, question how your target customer journey has changed in the last 18 months.
  • Segment new and existing customers based upon their specific needs, attributes, and characteristics. How have their needs changed?
  • Brainstorm what future offerings could be successful and test these initial offerings with loyal customers who can offer honest feedback, in the same way software companies ideate and develop a product backlog of requested features. Now is the time to invest in changing future offerings, to match customers new lifestyles such as working from home or on furlough.
  • Empathetic support of customers with personalised products and services especially those customers who are satisfied with your current offerings. Research shows loyal and satisfied customers are more than 7 times as likely to purchase additional products and services from a company. Recent economic uncertainty has also meant customers are paying extra attention to brands they are loyal to, with factors such as availability, convenience and community focus playing a greater role in customer’s minds.
  • Keep an eye on direct, indirect and replacement competitors’ new offerings to identify opportunities for disruptive ideas within your own company. All companies are trying to maintain a competitive advantage with new products or services, so this is important.
With the pandemic leading to severe disruption to normal doctor-patient interactions one of our pharma clients has decided to redefine their role in the patient journey to combat the issue of long diagnosis timelines (up to 7 years) for a severe version of a common condition. The company is starting to build an unbranded solution that offers valuable services for free to the broader patient population, but that can collect data and alert patients and healthcare professionals if the disease progresses in a way that would require the severe diagnosis. This is an example of a new service proposition to rely less on traditional diagnosis channels which are limited by the current clinical environment, that will also help solve a clear patient need.

Another example of expanding products and services to meet customer demand is the challenger bank Revolut’s recent expansion into the growing domain of Cryptocurrencies, allowing customer to buy, sell and save multiple cryptocurrencies alongside their usual banking functions. Revolut customers are further incentivised to switch to Premium accounts with reduced fees for crypto transactions.

Both above examples highlight how companies are quickly adapting their product and service offering beyond their traditional scope to provide a more innovative and complete experience in turbulent times.

How can we help you?

We have real experience helping our clients to develop and improve their customer offering to meet their customer’s needs.

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: Customer Re-engagement

Planning For Success After COVID-19: Digitalisation

Contact Helen Clark:


Phone: +44 (0)7585 111 518

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