In the new low-touch economy customer experience strategies are finding ways to cultivate new and existing relationships. Brands are merging digital and physical spaces to better navigate the current limitations to in person human interaction and foster meaningful brand-customer connections. Customer experiences also have to consider consumers’ emotions and how their brand’s values are expressed and perceived in a new context.
Customer Experience Strategy Blends Touchpoints to Foster Relationships
The COVID-19 pandemic shifted consumer behavior in dramatic ways. Industries like retail, travel and hospitality have been notably impacted. But brands are finding ways to create new customer experiences that take safety and efficacy into consideration. We’re already seeing some brands redesign across all touchpoints. Physical elements are being repurposed into digital spaces as well as digital features being integrated into physical settings. Reshaping customer experiences helps create an ideal blend of physical and digital elements, providing value to customers and ultimately cultivating stronger brand-consumer relationships.
Connection, Meaning and Value Drive Customer Experience Strategy
Consumers expect more from brands nowadays. A good customer experience can be defined by the depth–meaning and relevance–of the connection between the consumer and brand. Customers develop deeper relationships with brands that use acts of appreciation. This trend is driving some brands to invest more into responsive customer service. Prompted by the health crisis and the racial justice movement of 2020, brands have been actively building on more meaning with customers. Giving back to communities in need and making new products that provide help during crises (masks, hand sanitizer, ventilators) are ways brands brought more meaning to customer experiences. Value also stands out as an important attribute. With uncertainty consuming daily life, consumers are looking to brands that offer usefulness. A customer experience that makes life a little easier can help brands resonate more deeply and authentically with weary consumers.
Tapping Customer Emotions to Reinforce Relationships
In times of widespread change and uncertainty, customer experience plays a key role in building meaningful and trusted relationships with consumers. Qualities like empathy, care and responsiveness are often built in real-time interactions. Many of these attributes are wrapped into perceived brand values, which can be pivotal in consumers’ purchasing decisions. And with health and social crises reshaping norms, customers are all the more inclined to seek out brands that align with their own beliefs and values.