How to Handle Customer Behavior Changes Due To COVID
All it took was a few months and COVID 19 has changed lives around the entire globe. It has changed the way we worked and forced big to small businesses to relook into their plans and strategies around crisis management. While there are multiple businesses that have shut completely, it has also given birth to many new businesses like masks production and what not!
Necessity is the mother of all inventions and businesses today need to innovate, accelerate, and build competent strategies to revive their organization from the losses. Multiple marketers are regularly facing one single question about customer analysis that leads to multiple new ones. It is What Does Customer Care Mean?
- How should they communicate with their customers?
- Where should they communicate?
- What to communicate?
- Where their budgets should be diverted?
- And, what exactly is the best way to support their customers to build a loyal customer base?
Why Is Understanding Customers Important During COVID?
Many businesses regularly think that this is the time to look into their operations and see how they can get revenue. This is the wrong approach.
Times of crisis calls for unnatural leadership and care for one of the key stakeholders- customers! Brands need to put the customer’s interest first as this will lead to long time relationships and better perception of the company in their minds. As people are locked down in their homes, they now have a new interest area. They have multiple alterations to their existing behavior and are only purchasing necessary items.
The main aspect right now is to understand the behavior which will lead to brands producing effective strategies and communications to deal with it. If you know your customer well, you will always talk to them in the language they understand which impacts them and helps you in brand building. The current time demands empathy from the businesses’ side.
You need to keep a real-time check on the changing tastes and preferences and see how well you can affect their behavior and put it in your benefit.
The next question then is, how to manage customer behavior and give them better brand experience.
How to Manage Customer Experience during COVID 19
Let’s see what brands can and must do during COVID to build better relationships with its customers!
- Sneak Peek into Life of Customer
The regular activities of customers have changed. From going to their office to weekly shopping, everything has shifted its due course and has led to customer behavior change. It is the right time for brands to give their efforts a human touch and fulfill their roles of becoming a corporate citizen.
Brands can involve customers in talks and put their foot towards digital transformations. For example, ICICI banks have opened up WhatsApp service for banking services and are supporting their existing clients with maximum possible services. Multiple brands have started their own skill training centers to support various students. TCS has opened up its online certification courses.
Brands need to see where people now are spending most time and start working in those directions. Various brands have used WhatsApp and play at home games to reach their target audience.
Sneaking into customer life gives insights which when used effectively gives the brand a strong front foot.
- Be Empathetic- Care & Concern
Customers are locked inside their homes and are checking out multiple information online. They may come across false news, facts or may even get confused at many places. During this time, they are facing multiple challenges which can be exploited by brands and used in their favor.
Always remember, customers will always remember how you treated them during the crisis. The memory of today will last in their mind forever.
Brands through their communications can help its customers. Through this, brands can also reinforce the existing behavior and use the time in their favor. A small cosmetic based company when shut, shifted to social media, and started sharing easy DIY techniques for skin-care. Through this, they kept their users engaged and built a better relationship.
Your actions will demonstrate your intent and they should always give a feeling of safety to your customers!
Build business strategies for a resilient future, which will always include customers!
- Cost Cutting Must Not Lead To Unhappy Customers
The COVID19 has forced many brands to resort to the mechanism that they otherwise would not have done. While we understand that cost-cutting might be essential, brands also need to understand that it should not lead to dissatisfied customers.
Focus on operational costs and add new facilities that drive customer engagement. One of the ways is by investing in digital mechanisms and online channels where one can find millions of customers and also talk to them in a humane voice.
COVID19 has brought significant change in every aspect of business and customer life and one of them is a shift towards digital mediums. It is time for businesses to understand the real places for budget allocation and create funds for the same to stay in the game.
- The New Model- Contactless Delivery
One of the major shifts that have been recorded is the development of new models of delivery that includes adding contactless capabilities to be built.
The buying life of people will change as the COVID19 will not just go off that easy. People would prefer purchasing from places where they see the right hygiene measures. Brands need to see that none of their operations has a negative impact on the life of any human- from employees to customers.
Many brands like e-commerce stores and restaurants have started following this model and if you too are into this kind of business, it is a must that you include this facility into your business.
The customer buying and overall behavior will see a new meaning as the impact of COVID19 on their overall journey can be seen now. It is time for brands to relook and device new stories and mechanisms to understand their customer better and deliver them the best. Also, much-anticipated action is finding post-COVID customer behavior changes.
Start by looking at your marketing models and consult experts if needed.
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About the Author
The author is a communications graduate with a keen interest in the digital world. She has always loved penning her thoughts and views and loves sharing the same with everybody. With her passion for advertising and the digital arena, she sets forth her opinions through blogs working as a content writer.