Reimagining customer-centric business planning has been forced into high-gear due to experiences and lessons learned – and continued learning – from last year’s COVID-19 impact on businesses and brands. David Highbloom, a 25-year entrepreneur with extensive experience in business models dependent on the customer service experience, points out that there is a shift taking place today that combines new ways of reaching customers by exploring new business mindsets, methods, and motivations. Additionally, Highbloom mentions that executives must examine the cross-section of technology, human design and contribution, and scalable, agile business models to achieve this shift successfully.
At this point, many industry executives describe business marketing as a blank canvas that is being reinvented and renewed by customer-centric style thinking. At the forefront is the realization that empathy, active listening, and understanding are at the core of reimagining the customer experience. The global pandemic caused companies and brands to listen to their core customer base truly, and in a way, lean in closer to them. This closeness brought everybody, and their needs, into focus and businesses, responded by accelerating their e-commerce channels, implemented curbside pick-up, and in some cases, introduced delivery services. Highbloom says these types of pivots demonstrated the agility businesses could accomplish to make their customers feel safe while still providing them with the products they needed.
A recent article discusses how agility is just the beginning of how businesses will need to focus and enhance the customer experience to achieve real business results. Specialized and personalized services will accelerate, and the competition for making the customer experience easy and safe will rise. Highbloom recommends that businesses take these pendulum swings with a grain of salt and not rush into implementing costly programs that are not tested to provide an appropriate return on the investment.
Highbloom explains that these changes will not happen overnight or in a silo. They will be front and center. Business and industry leaders must address the discipline involved in first changing the mindset. Once this discipline is created, turning that into reliable business processes and habits would lend itself to achieve form, function, and finally, system-wide implementation.
It is both easy and challenging to ask yourself what could be done today to improve the customer experience and reimagine that answer into tangible processes and results. It is the little things done right and done repeatedly that build brand loyalty and create strong customer relationships with a brand or business.