Changing Customer Expectations and the ‘stay safe’ Lens

These two companies demonstrate vastly different awareness of the customer’s ‘stay safe’ lens. In one case they took things very seriously and made every effort to ensure the business ran smoothly while attending to the concerns of customer health and safety. And the other example, there was little awareness at all that customers would expect the staff to wear masks, ask customers to practice social distancing, or post signs about modified procedures. This ultimately failed to meet changing customer expectations that can only be seen through their lens.

 

Tactically speaking, the level of adaptation needed to make all customers feel safe and welcome will likely include enabling new omnichannel and digital capabilities. For retailers, the ability to buy online and pick up in store is now a must have capability rather than a novelty. Similarly, customers now expect the ability to buy in store and return online. It simply must be a digital and omnichannel experience if the new customer lens of staying safe is going to be respected. These trends have been developing over the past few years, but the Covid-19 event has accelerated all digital and omnichannel customer expectations.

 

All of this change means your customer experience teams need to change as well. Consider all the impacts that happened overnight to your customer journey maps, personas, and moments of truth. All of these need a new, refreshed look through the “stay safe” lens.  You may now have customer personas that are very fearful of the virus and take every precaution imaginable, and you may also have a customer persona that will never wear a mask. If you are a retailer, your journey maps are vastly different now and should be updated to reflect the new experience and the relevant listening posts.

 

So where does your business fall in the maturity scale? Here are some tactical next steps for you to take immediately:

  1. Review your Voice of the Customer Analytics. For instance, surveys should include questions about how safe the customer felt while interacting, or your  speech analytics categories and queries should be updated to identify conversations that include “Covid,” “virus,” “mask”, and so on to understand the root causes of customer issues and concerns.
  2. Update personas and customer segmentation. These should now reflect the changing psychographics and related behaviors towards social distancing, channel preferences, etc. so you can understand your needs for  omni channel / digital capabilities, new policies and processes, experience designs, etc.
  3. Revisit your customer journey maps to understand new impacts and implications for touchpoints and moments of truth, including new ones that likely emerged overnight as a response to COVID-19.

 

Many companies have started addressing these items. If this isn’t already included in your plans for the remainder of 2020, you are likely behind the industry. Contact our team if you would like a jumpstart in better connecting with your customers in this rapidly changing environment.

Andy Mattox
Andy Mattox

Andy is a Partner and VP of Marketing and Operations at Andrew Reise Consulting. Over the past 17 years, Andy has worked closely with several Fortune 500 companies to either gain a strategic competitive advantage in the marketplace or significantly reduce operational expenses. Andy has an extensive program and project management background and typically leads efforts that are cross-functional in nature and strategically important to the business.