The nation’s edging towards coming out (of lockdown that is). Only fools would claim to know what life will be like on the other side but here are our musings based on conversations with consumers, clients and The Customer Closeness Co’s crystal ball…
1. Support needed for the ‘stretched middle’ - Post-crisis, savvy spending will be even more important to the ‘stretched middle’ who were already extended with mortgages, car loans and the cost of kids and are likely to have lost income or their whole livelihood if they own(ed) a small business. They will value any brand who can help them fund everyday life in smart, efficient ways.
2. The way we work – many businesses will emerge from the crisis with confidence in their wfh infrastructure and trust in their people to use it (rather than sunbathe). We anticipate that the crisis will accelerate the already growing working from home trend. What will brands offer in terms of ‘working from home’ packages – energy; broadband; tech; food and drink…?
3. Video has proved it can deliver the human touch - GP video consults; families checking in with remote elderly relatives; video lessons. The lockdown has made millions of us put aside our reservations and do things via video. We’ve seen and felt the human touch delivered remotely, and through it how much we can achieve. Post-pandemic will be the moment to push awareness and take-up of customer experience by video
4. How we care for our families – Covid-19 has exposed the isolation of those without broadband access and/or a local human support network. When lives revert to a more normal rhythm and the ‘emergency community’ falls away, some families will remain acutely aware that they have relatives who should be better supported day-to-day. If there was ever a moment for ‘family care’ packages - BB access; video calls; welfare monitoring via smart home devices or wearable tech all packaged up for ease from one provider – this is it.
5. How we value our workers – an uncomfortable light is being shed on the way we value key workers in our society. Now is the time for brands to tell the world how they are supporting, protecting and rewarding their key workers – and consider how they continue to do so and tell that story post-crisis too.
6. Brands are being judged right now – the most agile e.g. Leon pivoting to Feed the NHS and the most generous e.g. Zoom ‘We’ve given you free time’ will emerge with brand equity riding high. The smartest brands will be agile and generous, and be clear about how they continue building on these discovered strengths to help consumers as the nation recovers over the coming years