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Customer Experience Amidst Covid-19

  Jul 17, 2020

In a short period of time, COVID-19 has overturned and overwhelmed businesses, lives, and livelihoods around the globe. For many businesses, the onset of the pandemic brought with it increased uncertainty, product and service cancellations, and market volatility.

Customer experience (also known as CX) refers to the interactions and experiences your customer has with your business throughout the customer journey, from the first point of contact to becoming a happy and loyal customer.

Good customer service typically means providing timely, attentive, upbeat service to a customer, and making sure their needs are met in a manner that reflects positively on the company or business. Customer service is about people.

The pandemic has also seen customers modify their consumer behavior which has in turn affected brands by having a direct impact on their customer experience pushing them to adapt fast.

During a crisis, what matters to a customer is changes, in times like these, people want to be seen and understood and are extremely sensitive to brand tone and brand motive. No-one wants to feel like just another buyer. A customer’s interaction with a brand during a crisis can trigger an immediate and persistent effect on brand trust and brand loyalty.

COVID-19 has forced brands to rethink what customer care means; Are you concerned about your customers’ well-being? How are you supporting the pandemic? What are you doing to ease your customers’ anxieties? How are you making it easier for your customers to shop? Are you offering delivery options? Can your customers shop online?

How you treat your customers directly affects brand perception, trust, and loyalty. Brands that exhibit emotional intelligence and communicate with care, honesty, and empathy end up generating customer trust thus tend to do better during crises.

Speaking during a webinar session hosted by Strathmore University Business School, Prof. Robert Ebo Hinson, Head of Marketing & Entrepreneurship Department University of Ghana highlighted four ‘R’s of customer experience.

  1. You need to reassure your customers on the readiness of your organization to handle the new normal. Customers are under extreme stress so the experience might change.
  2. Acknowledge that digital is the new normal and ensure that you develop digital capabilities to serve your clients.
  3. Revisit the basics of customer service; a welcoming environment, being courteous, knowledgeable staff about the product, strong communication, proactive problem-solving.
  4. Reach out for branded customer service and redefine your corporate values. Have strong teams to deliver a great experience for your customers as virtual teams are the new normal and thus important to ensure virtual cooperation. Have shared values, mutual trust inspired vision from the leader, and having a strong reward system in the virtual space will aid in having a great customer experience. Reward and recognition are important for people dealing with internal and external customers. Review policies in your organization to work for you.

Customers have power and customers have options. Listening to what your customers need and delivering on those needs will impact customer experience beyond the pandemic.



Article by Juliet Hinga


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