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The "New Normal": An opportunity to reset first impressions

By Ron Tabata

How do the new sensitivities and uncertainties skew the value of certain aspects of the customer journey today? Not only what new policies exist for your business, but also what new concerns or apprehensions will your customers have? How will your customer react to entry queues, or waiting rooms, or trying on clothes, or other communal contact activities? What should we consider as positive and negative attributes in the customer experience in the “current” normal?

Investigation and Selection: (Engagement must extend beyond the storefront. Multi-channel engagement is now a non-starter)

  • How are you communicating with your prospective customers?

  • What factors in your offering provide enhanced peace of mind?

  • How does your process maximize effectiveness yet minimize exposure?

  • If possible, how can the experience or offering be better than previously provided, how have you adapted?

Interaction Planning: (The grab and go, in-person impulse buy is extinct. Groceries or in-home services are now planned and scheduled.)

  • How do you communicate and prepare your customer for their next experience? (e.g. delivery expectation, onsite pickup, or in-store requirements)

  • How might this be different from prior experiences?

  • Interaction scheduling and confirmation if required.

  • How do you set expectations?

Interaction: (The physical experience of a customer visit or a service call)

  • Opportunity to deliver on the expectations set during planning (i.e. timeliness, accuracy, safety, completeness)

  • Demonstrate commitment to values.

Feedback: (Constant evaluation and adjustment to tune both the customer and employee experience)

  • How are you capturing and reviewing customer feedback around your new processes and offerings?

  • What channels are you providing for customers to share their experience and advocacy?

  • How do you capture team feedback and sentiment?

  • How will you celebrate successful implementation of the new processes?

Dramatic social change provides the unique opportunity to reset first impressions. Those who can engineer a thoughtful customer experience in these times can seize an incredible opportunity to delight and captivate a new customer base.

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