Time to dust off the journey maps and move cultivating empathy up a notch…
With the global pandemic, lockdown and a rather uncertain road to recovery, how should companies approach customer experience in a “new normal”? Other CX specialists confirm that the challenges are similar everywhere across the globe. Here is what we recommend.
#ONE: FAST TRACK EMPATHY CAPABILITY
Our advice to companies is to review their customer journeys and zoom in on customers’ current reality and fast-track internal empathy capabilities.
Not only will a new normal be defined from consumers’ collective emotional responses to the changing external environment, but also the collective shift in internal processing of change and the emotional content such as fear, uncertainty, loss, anger, pain, resilience, acceptance, hope, courage, etc.
As an example, we have seen escalation of e-commerce, even where it was previously not the preferred channel in some sectors (external context). We also noticed consumers’ re-prioritising their needs and wants (internal response). In a recent study we reported that consumers make do with less, and are satisfied with less (see the full report here). Consumers’ problems to solve, challenges and pain points have also changed, and this require business to change their responses too.
#TWO: AGILE JOURNEY DESIGN
Relying on a pre-Covid designed customer journey map could be suicidal for a business. The road to recovery (back to the hearts and love of your customers) will be one that requires agility. Never has understanding the customer and their new journey been more important than now!
We do not know what this ‘normal’ will look like exactly, therefore we recommend the adoption of a more agile approach to customer journeys, by regularly reviewing and incorporating small iterations in the design and responses to the changing situations.
Using the mapping process to cultivate empathy for customers’ new realities, as well as companies’ own internal reality, is the fastest way to conquer the new battlefields to recovery, survival and success.
Responsiveness, agility and empathy now hold the key to aligning your Experience Essence and service delivery to the new reality of consumers’ needs.