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Customer Centricity in the light of Covid-19

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The outbreak of Covid-19 didn’t take long to daze lives and livelihoods around the globe. The global crisis has brought in changes in customer’s experience felt by both the consumers and the businesses. For businesses, it has also urged the need of reevaluation of what customer experience means. Surveying of customer journeys and satisfaction metrics to apprise what customers want have paved way to an acute resolve of addressing their needs.

Customer interactions with companies and majorly startups, especially in times of crisis is believed to trigger an immediate and lingering effect on the customers' sense of trust and loyalty. For startups, the chief pointer of their customer experience will be how dependable they are for delivering experiences and service that meets customers’ new needs with responsiveness, care and concern.

Now is the time for startups to position themselves at the forefront in terms of consumer behavior, distinguish the fundamental needs and concerns of customers, and address them through collaboration and networking



Now is the time for startups to position themselves at the forefront in terms of consumer behavior, distinguish the fundamental needs and concerns of customers, and address them through collaboration and networking.

The Need of the Hour
Tracking changing customer preferences real-time and rapidly devising innovative strategies to increase customer engagement and technology is imperative in managing customer expectations. The way startups adapt and tackle customer behaviour amid such crisis conditions have a lasting impact in customers’ minds.

Sharing thoughts on the adaption of customer experience, Shanthi Padmanabhan, VP, Customer Success, Salesforce India, says, "The outbreak of the pandemic has accelerated the need for startups to invest in building customer loyalties and leveraging them to improve their business. One thing that is making a difference for startups is sailing against the wind with improvised customer connection and enhanced experience."

While the global crisis is giving a new impetus on startups to address immediate customer needs and prepare for the future, startups that reacts fast and invests in improving customer loyalty is likely to stay afloat even in the tough times like this. Reportedly, 42 per cent of Salesforce’s customers confirm that keeping up with changing customer experiences is indeed a difficult nut to crack. Naturally the ones who have invested in technology to deliver enhanced experience are the winners.

In the time of coronavirus, customer centricity has become increasingly substantial while technology is right at the center. A research finding states that recently a startup called Startupwaala.com has built a self-service app that allows customers to follow their requests and track status. Not only this, the startup has recorded improved productivity and efficiency with 55 per cent uplift in sales, and 40 per cent boost in customer satisfaction.

How does the Future look like?
In a post-Covid world, changes in consumer preferences and business models will be the new normal. It will definitely influence the ways businesses run their operations, digitalize their business models, realign their objectives to stay ahead. While customer experience has taken on a new dimension in the overwhelming challenge of covid crisis, the need to innovate would become a priority for startups.

"It is actually a good time to build intimate relationships with the customer. Building customer centricity will also entail a shift in how companies serve customers, according to Chahal. Companies may have to shift operating and business models so that they can translate to greater customer loyalty," mentions Navneet Chahal, Partner, Bain & Company.

Startups that innovate during this crisis and anticipate how customers will change their habits will build stronger relationships and will be the ones to etch customer’s mind – now and forever.