COVID-19: Customers are more demanding, more digital & better informed than ever before
The COVID-19 pandemic has "shaken-up" many of the traditional hypotheses on which business models were previously based. This was a key topic during Majorel’s industry roundtable - 'The Challenge of a New Customer Paradigm' - held at RC Expo 2020 (“Expo Relación Cliente” Congress), the premier virtual event for all things CX (Customer Experience), on 25-26 November, 2020 in Madrid, Spain.
Since the pandemic began, customer habits and behaviors have changed and many digital transformation processes have been accelerated, “resulting in a new consumer mentality where organizations have had to adapt themselves. They are more demanding, more digital and better informed,” said Francisco Gil, Commercial Director at Majorel, for Spain, Portugal, Italy & Latin America.
Humanization of digital relationships
To respond to this new shift, Gil recommends that companies adopt strategies focused on the customer, but taking into account that technology “is not everything” and that we must move towards a “humanization of digital relationships”.
“We talk about the need for anticipation, adaptation and flexible organizations, in addition to key factors such as investment capacity or balance in the customer portfolio. And also how life has changed – technology, infrastructure, models of customer interaction and in the way of communicating”, continued Gil.
A radical change in the way of communicating
With the pandemic, the way to customers communicate with brands has changed radically. “While telephone and email remain the predominant channels, both chat and messaging are seeing exponential growth on a daily basis,” said Francisco Gil. “It’s clear that businesses must have greater fluidity regarding Omni channel approaches to meet the evolving needs of a generation of fully-digital consumers”.
At the height of the pandemic, Correos, the Spanish national postal service saw customer service traffic on its web and social networks grow by 80%. Deputy Director of Customer Service at Correos, Pedro Casado, who took part in Majorel’s roundtable, noted that traffic “did not return to previous values” following the peak. “Today we have a growth of 11% on the web and 40% on social networks. It is clear that we are moving in a totally digital world”.
Another key to adapting to this new situation is having up-to-date information, as was highlighted by Virginia Cardenal, Manager of Customer Care at RCI, who also participated in roundtable. “Information has to be continuous, effective and transparent. Customers are eager during this period to know what is going to happen in any area, so being able to provide the customer with that transparent information gives them a real perception of the company”.
Three things will define CX in the post-pandemic era
As we race towards the new normality, all businesses are rapidly trying to work out which customer behaviors and trends are here to stay and which ones will disappear as the crisis lessens.
“In the post-pandemic era three aspects will define the customer experience; digital excellence, safe and non-contact interactions and dynamic knowledge”, said Francisco Gil. Each industry will distribute the weight of these levers in a different way, taking into account the starting point, the competitive context and the characteristics of its own sector. “The consumer profile is changing and is moving from face-to-face to digital. It will be interesting to know what the weight of each area will be in the future according to evolving consumption habits”, concluded Francisco Gil.