Customers expect seamless, omnichannel experiences, whether they are B2C or B2B customers. As global trade is changing in the face of the pandemic, customers are expecting more from brands. Value, relevant products and services, and the growth of the brand in line with customer needs.

The pandemic is proving that businesses need to find new ways to connect with customers. Using customer data is more important than ever. This customer data is being used to:

  • remap and recreate customer journeys
  • develop more accurate forecasting models
  • understand customer needs in real-time
  • build scenarios
  • identify gaps
  • perform stress-tests on ideas
  • improve results with actionable insights

Your customers are often just as confused as you are at this time. You must be the leader and show them the path towards their success. By analyzing the data, you will see patterns that clearly indicate what your customers want.

While we are still unsure of how the pandemic will play out and how long the world will continue to be held hostage to the virus, some things have already been made clear by consumers:

  • 68% of people report that the pandemic has changed the products and services they think are important.
  • 75% of people using digital channels for the first time said that they will continue to do so.
  • In Italy, eCommerce sales for consumer products rose 81% in a single week and in the UK, 20% of people say they won’t buy fashion in-store again.

The retail sector has needed to make swift changes as online buying and direct-to-consumer selling, coupled with a decrease in discretionary spending and flat sales for net-new products has reshaped the sales model.

Traditional B2B businesses are also needing to change, augmenting existing sales and service models so they can better serve customers remotely.

One of the biggest changes overall has been in healthcare. One of Europe’s largest telehealth providers, KRY International, has seen a 200 percent increase in registrations as people turn to online services to avoid attending hospitals or clinics unnecessarily.

Businesses are coming to customers, rather than waiting for them in a static location. It is the only way that businesses will survive through lockdowns, social distancing mandates, and reduced consumer spending.

For businesses to find an advantage they need to understand what resonates with customers. How businesses choose to respond will influence buying decisions today and in the future. Moving business online, such as take away services for restaurants, delivery for businesses that sell products, and robust customer support for those who sell services.

To create baseline analyses of customer needs, businesses need behavioral, transactional, and feedback metrics. And as Gartner points out, more frequent, real-time monitoring of customer metrics is essential during the pandemic because attitudes are changing so rapidly. Useful metrics include:

  • Customer satisfaction scores
  • Customer effort scores
  • Net promoter scores
  • Customer call volume and types of queries
  • Website behavior
  • Point-of-sale data
  • Geospatial data
  • Social media sentiment
  • Employee feedback

Every business, regardless of industry segment, needs to be asking and responding to questions. From supply chains to logistics, to sales, everything is shifting fast and businesses need to be open to analyzing the data to remain robust, flexible, and prepared to make some dramatic changes.