Research shows that today’s wants during COVID-19 become tomorrow’s needs.
There probably aren’t any genuine new needs, but there may be new needs for your business.
For instance, infection control was always a need in hospitals, but it is a new need in a supermarket setting. Face masks were always part of equipment in a healthcare setting. Now, they are potentially required in supermarkets and on public transport.
The overriding emerging need is safety. Putting measures in place to protect people’s health is an emerging need no matter what type of business you run.
4 emerging trends: from global to local
Going beyond the focus on health and safety, there are three other trends:
- The balance between global and local supply chains has changed. Global supply chains are too extended and aren’t resilient to this type of event. There will be increased pressure to bring supply chains closer to home.
- A virtual presence will be a higher priority because it offers the ability to go beyond the home.
- Retail will become highly specialised where physical interaction is a genuine need and not a ‘nice to have’.
Changing customer attitudes as a result of COVID-19
A recent study done by Accenture discovered that, “Digital commerce has also seen a boost as new consumers migrate online for grocery shopping – a rise that is likely to be sustained post-outbreak.” The study also noted that 55 percent of people will continue to make time with their family a priority post-pandemic. This will impact the way people spend their leisure time. DIY and entertainment will benefit from this consumer shift.
On the other hand, there are businesses that profess to be worried about the needs of their customer but are just trying to generate business. The problem arises when businesses reduce costs but keep the extra margin.
The economy will have an enormous impact as well. We will be faced with more poverty and unemployment. It is important for businesses to genuinely meet the needs of this group of individuals without being insincere.
Actions you can take right now during and post COVID-19
Great organisations not only meet their customers’ needs but also deliver against the changed perspectives of their clients. Identify potential changes in customers’ journeys and the touchpoints that may be most important to customers in these unusual times. Understand, anticipate, and go above and beyond to fulfil customer needs.
Use this time now to:
- Ensure that whatever pop-up model you’ve created is sustainable
- Invest in your CX and UX – research customers to uncover the changes to customer needs and journeys
- Leverage the right technology to stay ahead of your competitors – invest in building end-to-end, personalised digital strategies vs simply adapting your live events strategies to virtual ones.
- Communicate messages focused on helping customers
- Improve or expand on what you offer, driven by meeting needs and wants
- Go through all the fixes teams wished they had time to do – stop putting band-aids on flawed products
- Walk through a proper user-centred design process to make improvements
- Service design your internal workers’ experiences
People are changing in ways they don’t realise
The impact of not meeting needs can be significant. Events like COVID-19 force people to change in ways they don’t realise. What we can be certain of is that our customers have changed their perspective on something, and possibly in very dramatic ways. Prepare for these changes. Get ahead of the curve.
Evaluate your customer data and forecast shifts in future wants and needs is a customer-centric way to anticipate the evolving needs of your customers. The best companies in the world will prepare NOW for how to meet the future needs of their customers.
Adapted from the source: https://cxm.co.uk/what-are-the-emerging-customer-needs-post-covid-19/
Based on this article by author Stephen Hewett