The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has affected the lives and livelihoods around the world. Centre for Public Policy Research, a public policy think tank based in Kochi did a COVID-19 Impact survey. It stated the adverse impact of the pandemic on the economy is widely perceived to be more severe than its impact as a health crisis. They further added 92 per cent of respondents believed the economic threat to be ‘Severe’ or ‘Highly Severe’, while only 64 per cent of them believed that the severity of the pandemic as a health crisis is ‘Severe’ or Highly Severe’.
The pandemic has definitely affected businesses especially traditional brick-and-mortar stores because what used to make a great retail customer experience has drastically shifted where retailers can no longer give just “good enough” customer experience.
The era of COVID-19 has opened up a way for smaller retailers to rethink their marketing strategy, gain new revenue, engage with existing revenue, and create efficiencies. By taking a closer look at pre-Covid-19 retail customer experience best practices, a clear pattern emerges for what brands need to do differently to thrive in this new retail landscape.
Pat Perdue, a retail leader with expertise on strategic application of technology to drive the client journey, shared insight on what brands need to do differently to thrive in this new retail landscape.
Before the pandemic, brand reputation was important and the attraction of a sale would often be relied on to generate quick and spontaneous purchases. Meanwhile, after Covid-19, customers have more time and have the tendencies to research the brand before making any decision.
Transactional Exchanges vs. Meaningful, Authentic Connections
Previously, when a customer calls your business, it might have gone to a call centre not dedicated to your customers’ experience. While conversations were transactional such as order tracing, stock availability questions, return policy, they rarely turned into a returning customer. However, post pandemic, you should take the opportunity to focus and dedicate your time with your customers.
All things considered, meaningfully adapting to the post-COVID-19 situation requires a business to recognize what was good enough a year ago isn’t good enough today. Those that fail to adapt to it risk the predictable outcome of losing customer relevance.