Customer experience in Covid 19 crisis
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the user experience provided by companies through their digital channels was already recognized as a key point of competitiveness. What kind of consumer expectations have changed and how will companies adopt and apply new business principles to secure their place in an increasingly uncertain market?
Consumer expectations have changed along with the development of their personal priorities in terms of health and safety, which has led to changes in shopping and decision-making habits. Today’s consumers are more selective in making decisions, they are thoughtful and go for brands which they can trust.
Many consumers saw the isolation and time of the pandemic as an opportunity to reset their values, to dedicate their time to health, family and friends. Their perception of brands is changing and what once was considered a good user experience is no longer good enough. Consumers are looking for brands they can trust, who contribute to the local community and take care of their employees. Integrity, trust and empathy are just as important as price benefits, product affordability and shopping safety.
Looking at global research that analyzes user experience, loyalty as a value and “personal approach” have defined the “new age customer” and are a prerequisite for creating brand loyalty.
A dynamic economic environment, change of values as well as newly set consumer standards are transforming the business of a growing number of companies. Brands are making increasing efforts to get to know their consumers, personalize their services and show their contribution to the community.
The transition to a digital way of interacting with consumers is crucial and is successfully implemented by a large number of companies. Organizations that have not needed digitalization before will now have to invest in new digital payment and communication methods. Consumers have become digitally smarter and use social networks, webchat applications, Messenger, Viber, WhatsApp to communicate with companies on a daily basis. They easily share their experiences and influence organizations to provide them with access to information, transparency and personal access.
Looking at global and local leading organizations, we can see that companies that have adapted and focused on improving the user experience have been ranked higher than those that have not. The question arises as to how smaller organizations with limited human resources or knowledge can keep up with new trends and consumer needs. Reorganization of the company’s values aimed at providing an outstanding user experience, loyalty, transparency and the creation of a unique corporate culture are the basis for transforming consumers into brand ambassadors. Whether it is representatives who work on improvement of the user experience within the organization or a hired partner customer support company, the focus must be on emotional, personal approach with consumers, and availability for information through all available communication channels.
The advantage of outsourced contact centers for customer support is in the technological aspects that allow them to communicate through various digital and telecommunications channels, analytics followed by appropriate software solutions, knowledge base, staff training and, the most important of all, years of experience in communicating with end users.
COVID-19 brought challenges for organizations, but also opportunities. It directed the focus of the organization towards consumers as the center of its business, brought about changes in building lasting, consistent relationships between organizations and employees, as well as between organizations and consumers. It is time for companies to embrace a new reality, and an outstanding user experience as a crucial element of their transformation path.
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