Investment in Customer Experience: Threat or opportunity during economic downtimes?

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We have a new external fact that has a huge impact on our customer relationships: the appearance of Covid-19 and its consequences for the global economy, society and business. We have no choice but use this new reality to re-think the role of customers for our business.

I have talked to companies and its business leaders who have used the lockdown time early this year to have a direct interaction and talk to customers for the first time in their lives. Now we have a great opportunity to connect in a different way, with direct interactions, and not just having an external agency do a focus group with our customers. This is about direct interactions to really understand what customers´ reality is now, what their fears are, and what expectations they have towards the company. The bad news is that only around 5% of the business leaders who I deal with had these types of interactions with their customers.

This moment is a big opportunity to rethink everything we do, starting with what we stand for as human beings, what the company we work for stands for, what does the brand not only promise but also fulfil, and how do we treat and interact with employees. Even if Zoom, Teams, Google meets, Webex etc. are our interaction channels, I would love to see people and companies re-connect with the most essential form of being a human being – with emotional connection. Experts say empathy may disappear, as distance gets longer, but humans won’t disappear. Human beings will always find a way of connecting with each other and make each other meaningful. This is what human history shows us.

As a company, the best way to be relevant and meaningful is to reconnect with your customers and employees. Customers, because they are the ones who finance everything: your sales department, your innovation department, all the salaries that must be paid. Employees, because they represent you in front of customers and make it happen. Customer and Employee Centricity is a clear opportunity for those companies that really understand it and see it as a unique strategy. Other companies start reducing costs limiting quality of customer interaction. For us this short-term view is and will always be the wrong way – with or without Covid – because now we are more sensitive as customers about what adds value to our lives. We a more aware of the time and money we invest. Regarding customer experience, companies who really got it right, will never ever rationalise on relevant customer interactions because they are convinced that if they do not invest in customer experience, customers will just not buy from them anymore. That is a fact, now more than ever. We invite you to RE-THINK.

This post is also available in: Spanish