One of the greatest threats that the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic poses to business owners is, well, the uncertainty of it all. We live in unprecedented times—COVID-19 has thrown a lot of the old world’s rules out and left brands wondering how to best serve customers as a viral disease rages the world over.
Though COVID-19 has changed all the rules, businesses needn’t necessarily change how they approach customer service and customer experience (CX) in these challenging times. Rather, the Coronavirus presents an opportunity to get back to the basics of providing a quality experience, and that’s addressing fundamental customer needs.
Identify, Prioritize, Address
As we discovered and outlined in our recent trends report on this subject, one of the ways that brands can stay afloat and even find continued success amid this pandemic is by identifying customers’ most fundamental needs, prioritizing such needs in business and CX plans, and then addressing them directly.
Though this strategy is nothing new to any company that wants to keep its doors open, much less take its vertical by storm, the pandemic has shined a light on one of customers’ most cherished experience needs: health and safety. If that desire wasn’t pertinent before the pandemic, it’s all the more so now.
According to our research, it’s vital that brands not only institute stringent health and safety measures, but also let customers know that those steps have been taken. This one-two strategy both ensures customer safety and reassures them that brands are taking the COVID-19 threat, and their own health, seriously.
A Serving of Success
As we discussed in our previous article on this topic, the restaurant industry is among the most favorably viewed verticals when it comes to Coronavirus responses. When the pandemic began to ramp up, restaurants made it clear that they took customer health seriously by closing dine-in services to help prevent the disease from spreading.
This action let customers know loud and clear that brands they cared about were reciprocating that emotional investment. Restaurants took things a step further by including social distancing measures in their other strategies, adapting curbside and third-party delivery services into their experiences to let customers keep coming without making them feel at risk.
As a result of taking these steps and emphasizing customer safety, restaurants rapidly became one of the most favorably viewed verticals in the country. Our research indicates that there’s a sizable divide between how favorably restaurants are viewed versus other industries that did not take similar safety measures as quickly, such as certain online-only retailers. Clearly, addressing fundamental customer needs makes all the difference, especially at a time like this.
Back to Basics
The strategy that we laid out at the beginning of this article still holds true even in the age of COVID-19. Brands can still find success in the middle of a pandemic by identifying their customers’ needs and desires, making those a priority in its grander strategy, and continually addressing and re-evaluating them. This strategy can prove successful for a brand come rain or shine, pandemic or none. Additionally, as we established with our restaurant example, can also mean the difference between meaningful success and rapid decline.
Want to learn more about how to survive and thrive in the age of COVID-19? Be sure to read our Special Edition CX Trends Report “Your Post-Pandemic Playbook” for additional tips and insights.