Covid-19 vs Customer Experience: Does your CX cut it in the “New Normal”?
By Hannah Price
The emotional element of professional relationships has definitely been put under the microscope this year. Whilst many have enjoyed the flexibility of working from home and the reduction in travel, the removal of face to face lunches and coffee meetings until potentially 2021 means that things that were the building blocks of developing relationships with both customers and colleagues have stopped and are in some cases very hard to replicate virtually.How important is the emotional element of professional & commercial relationships? For many organizations it is the key tenet of their branding and customer experience strategy. Gone are the days of product-based messaging. Take Coca-Cola for instance which has moved away from marketing on the quality of the product (‘Delicious & Refreshing’ or ‘You Can’t Beat the Real Thing’) to its latest slogan focused on the experience it creates: ‘Open Happiness’ Source 1. The same can be seen in the pharma industry where purpose statements are focused on people more than products – with emotive phrases that go beyond the treatment of diseases to longer-term partnerships based on making life better and creating a healthier world for all people. So, with this emotive messaging, you have promised your customers a partner who will support them to improve their life, with the implied notion that you will be there ‘for better or worse’. In 2020 many have experienced ‘the worse’ especially within Healthcare, at sharp end in the fight against Covid-19. Either as medical staff who are treating patients in conditions that have been compared to ‘war zones’, or as patients who have been impacted by the deferral of diagnosises / treatments and social distancing requirements. Non-Healthcare industries have rallied to support Healthcare professionals and those affected, through providing free food and drink Source 2 to mortgage and loan holidays, access to long-term savings accounts, and extended overdraft facilities for those who need to self-isolate or are too ill to work Source 3. However, beyond the standard call of duty; have pharmaceutical organizations lived up to their promise to improve life during Covid-19? We have certainly seen a large amount of funds being donated across the industry to support both healthcare professionals and patients Source 4 as well as practical changes to customer interactions such as:
- Employees with medical training being able to volunteer to support their community hospital, relief organization or local testing site while maintaining their pay and benefits Source 5.
- Implementing virtual training that pairs specially trained nurses with patients to teach proper self-administration of certain medicines from the safety of the patient’s own home Source 6.