COVID-19 has been one of the biggest global challenges of our generation. Customer behavior is changing at a staggering pace, and digital adoption has become necessary for survival. When the pandemic eventually recedes, sales and service organizations will have to continue to accommodate new attitudes and behaviors. Leaders must take immediate action to meet customer expectations in the post-crisis era.
Managing customer engagement now
Here are three priorities for activating and supporting purposeful experiences:
Embrace the unpredictable
As the use of digital channels spikes throughout the pandemic, the “rules of engagement” have changed, and customer expectations for what constitutes “basic” digital capabilities have shifted. There will be no return to the old ways of operating. Organizations must now prepare for a future focused not just on digital transactions, but on digital engagement that accelerates the development of customer relationships.
Flex your customer workforce
Most organizations were forced to do the unthinkable during the COVID-19 crisis: Make an entire workforce operate from their homes. Meanwhile, the lines between different human customer engagement channels have blurred. Sales and service organizations threw out the rule book to create continuity for consumers. As a result, the foundation has been set for organizations to think more holistically about the flexibility and fluidity of their workforce across customer engagement touchpoints.
Empower resilient operations
COVID-19 has exposed the insufficiency of traditional continuity plans. Still, enterprises that have made investments in agile human and digital workforce capabilities have been able to navigate the crisis better than their counterparts. In the face of sustained customer behavior changes, there will be higher demand for flexibility of physical spaces, platforms, and data. To succeed, companies should adopt elastic solutions and continuously recalibrate investments against outcomes.