Our new normal is something nobody expected in their wildest dreams. As the world is continuously preparing to combat COVID-19, customers are facing a huge slew of challenges including longer customer service wait times, shortages of products, delayed deliveries and a copious amount of COVID-19 related emails from various brands. Times like this truly test a brand's ability to put their customer first, especially as they face their own share of challenges – with one of the biggest being limited staff availability.

What can brands do to ensure customer-centricity in these unprecedented times? Let's explore a few options:

1. Boost customer service:

Focus on solving their problem instead of making the sale. Customers will always remember how the brands made them feel, especially in a time of need like this
  • Provide a call-back number so customers don’t have to wait indefinitely
  • Divert them to online channels including email, social media, chatbots, app. Also ensure your channels are integrated to provide an omnichannel experience
  • Waive any incidental service fees/ delivery fees for the time being
  • Incorporate clear guidelines on product availability and delivery to set the right expectations from the beginning

2. Personalization is even more important now:

Utilize all available data points to recommend the most relevant products and services
  • Based on purchase history, recommend purchasing commonly ordered products in advance to make sure they don’t have to scramble last minute, while also enforcing quantity limits to avoid hoarding by a single customer
  • Use the power of geo-targeting to show the closest stores where applicable
  • Integrate with home devices like Alexa/ Google Home for easy ordering

3. Make relevant changes to the Loyalty rewards program:

Show new and existing members what the brand stands for by being flexible with the way you reward loyalty
  • Let customers redeem for fewer points
  • Extend expiration dates for redemption
  • Prioritize elite customers but be fluid with providing some elite benefits to other tiers as well
  • Use an agile loyalty management platform to make changes quickly
    • Utilize CLM to make updates to the accrual and redemption rules
    • If you have multiple loyalty programs, integrate them in one place to manage them more easily

4. Unlock the power of social media:

Share feel good videos and content that still reiterates the power of community and that everyone is going through similar challenges and emotions
  • Provide a platform where customers and non-customers can communicate
  • Create sense of community and guide customers on ways they can make the best of this time at home. For example, a health-focused brand can post videos about how to get their daily 10,000 steps in a lockdown situation
  • Tap into social listening to stay attuned to customers’ emotions
This is an opportunity for the brand & loyalty program to show their customers that they truly matter, not only by sympathizing with their immediate needs, but also by empathizing with them on an individual and human level. To learn about how to leverage your loyalty program and enhance customer engagement in these unprecedented circumstances, we invite you to view our on-demand webinar, Navigating the Crosswinds: Managing a Loyalty Program in Uncertain Times. In addition, don't hesitate to contact a Comarch Consultant today and discuss how one of our senior loyalty experts can assist in strengthening and further developing your brand’s program. 
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