Let’s face it: We’re all miserable. It’s hard to think of anyone who has had a good 2020. Even those of us lucky enough to stay healthy, keep their jobs, and not go insane in their homes miss what life was like pre-COVID. Going to a concert, visiting family and friends on a whim, and yes, even the occasional business trip sound pretty good right about now.
While most of us are wearing masks and staying out of crowded spaces, we are still customers. We still interact with brands and public agencies on a daily basis. Whether it’s food delivery, the bank, Amazon, or the Town Clerk’s office, customer experiences continue, even in trying times. These experiences are opportunities to find some light and human connection. And the best ones, though they may look different than before, become memorable and help add some positivity to someone’s day.
I’ve seen companies take the customer perspective to provide better experiences in completely new ways since the pandemic began. It’s hard to be enticed by products and services from a distance. The experience is what sets brands apart. Here are some examples that stand out for me as a consumer:
- My husband bought an ax from Lowe’s with curbside pickup. He simply drove up, opened the trunk, and the associate placed the waiting package in the back. It saved him from having to walk around the store to find it and then stand in line to make the purchase.
- My town offered an online option for its residency stickers for the first time ever, along with virtual town meetings and increased activity on sites like Facebook and Twitter. It’s a level of transparency I’ve never seen before.
- When school was about to start, my husband and I (who both shifted to teach online) spent time with a very helpful associate inside a Best Buy for guidance on what types of remote learning audio and video equipment would work best for us personally. When Best Buy didn’t have what we needed in stock, the associate partnered with Guitar Center across the street to share resources and help us get the best products quickly.
These are just a few examples of some CX bright spots this year. The common thread is that standout companies are digital-first, convenient, and personal. The articles in this issue of the Customer Strategist Journal share even more examples, along with behind-the-scenes insight on how brands can not only survive, but also thrive as a customer-centric brand going forward. Enjoy!