How COVID-19 has catalysed Brand Customer Experience: Piyali Chatterjee, Hansa Research

Today, there are a few brands that have successfully redesigned and reimagined Customer experience in this fast-changing COVID 19 world writes Piyali Chatterjee, Senior Vice President CX National Head, Hansa Research.


In a short period, COVID-19 has overwhelmed lives and livelihoods around the globe. Now more than ever, customers are looking for extra information, guidance, and support to navigate a novel set of challenges, which include keeping their families safe and helping their kids learn when schools are shut down. Customers want products and services they can trust, make them feel safe, and that offer support in these overwhelming times.  Intelligent and agile brands are rethinking their customer strategy taking a cue from customer needs and expectations. I believe the ability of brands to deliver superior customer experience during these crisis times depends on how they :

- Deliver experiences and services with empathy, care, and concern. Many organizations have already stepped up their care quotient, not in overt marketing attempts to gain a competitive edge, but by offering genuine support to customers.

- Effectively use technology to simplify processes and make life easier for a customer. 

- Give more control to customers by offering self-service options extending beyond customer service, thus empowering the customers and also being accessible to customers at all times. 

Today, there are a few brands that have successfully redesigned and reimagined Customer experience in this fast-changing COVID 19 world, by keeping a real-time pulse on the evolving customer preferences. This has led to them emerging as differentiated brands, with high customer loyalty and powerful brand advocacy scores. In the past few months, I have witnessed 3 brands emerge as shining stars during these stressful times.

The first one being Maruti Nexa, who successfully managed to reassure and remain connected with its customers through the entire crisis times. While manufacturing was on hold but the brand stayed connected with customers to make its presence felt. Customers were called on a fortnightly basis to educate them on how to maintain and keep their vehicles running during the lockdown time. This was to minimize the need to visit the service centre for any vehicle issues. Proactive follow up calls were also undertaken to address queries on maintenance. This showcased a very outward-looking customer-centric strategy where the customer was prioritized over short term business numbers.

The second example is the Fortis hospital. In times when the general perception about hospitals is about being unfriendly, they have handled the non-COVID emergencies extremely well by providing telemedicine services on subsequent days. They have streamlined workflows for COVID and non-COVID cases. They didn’t turn down patients and comforted them very well. They had all SOPs in place thus they had no uncertainty in the way they handled the patients. 

The third example is the local Kirana/vendor who has exceeded expectations through personalization. They shined like stars when most big brands failed to deliver. In a situation when brands couldn’t commit availability and delivery time, the local Kiranas/vendors were not only delivering a range of products but also in the shortest time, with the least failure rates.

While many are saying that customer behaviour has changed forever, but I believe some of these changes are temporary, the only way forward is to keep a pulse on the customer and continue to differentiate.

Tags assigned to this article:
brand customer Covid 19

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