GettyImages – 1165610974 | View from below of young female soccer players hands together before game
Certain major events, such as the health crisis that we are experiencing, are causing profound changes in our way of life. One thing is certain, change is now the new normal.
It is not the change itself that is the problem – it is the speed at which this is happening. change. With the health crisis that we are going through, markets, borders and even government policies have had to evolve sometimes in a few days or even a few minutes, and no longer in months or years as was the case before the crisis. A lot of organizations are struggling today because they weren’t prepared to effect change in such a quick and nimble manner. They therefore found themselves unable to meet the new needs of their customers.
Put an end to the “too much” rule
Large companies have long been crippled by too many restrictions – too big, too complex and too siled to be nimble; held back by too many processes with too many transfers. And when it comes time to make decisions, there is too much manual effort to be done for simple actions can be taken. Finally, there are still too many communication channels needed to maintain interactions with customers. All these “too many” brakes are a disaster for the company, and when a crisis emerges and leaders are forced to make decisions quickly, it is no longer manageable.
technology is often seen as a way of easing the restrictions brought by the “excess rule” But it can also have the opposite effect. In terms of customer engagement, there are currently 7 000 unique technological solutions available on the market, allowing to improve it!
It is true, it can be useful to have options. However, each solution added to the already existing stack of solutions only adds silos. Disconnected and siled applications are built with their own rules, data models, and unique ways of understanding and interacting with customers. None of these technologies were designed to work together – they were designed to help companies sell products or solutions very widely.
Very often the message that is addressed to the customer is ignored, since it does not meet his needs or his centers of interest .
In this context, what does it take to be able to understand what customers expect? Act with empathy .
Empathy on a large scale
Empathy is understanding an individual’s feelings – their emotions , his environment – and to adapt to it during an exchange. Thus, technological tools endowed with empathy act and interact like human beings, real and benevolent – respecting the information available on the interlocutor.
But empathy was difficult to operationalize in daily activities due to the heavy dependence on the techniques of one-to-many , such as segmentation. Many companies choose to take a goal-oriented approach to sales using these techniques. Thus, the definition of the message and its audience are established long before it is delivered, making it very quickly obsolete for customers.
However, businesses must be able to make decisions in real time. Indeed, it is necessary to know the environment of the customer, to understand what is happening to him and to ask himself if it is appropriate to try to sell him his product or service at this moment. Perhaps, it is rather the moment to send a message adapted to its needs rather than that of the company. Thus, by tailoring the message to benefit customers’ needs, you will put it at the center of the conversation and be empathetic.
Many agree that a approach based on empathy is the right strategy to adopt, but it is not easy for all companies to switch their model to be in accordance with this approach. For this to work, it is imperative to no longer operate in silos, nor to maintain a more or less integrated model, that 06% of businesses currently use. Companies that use customer data stored in silos that prevent an optimal customer experience since each department uses the data according to its needs through its own channels.
For the customer experience is successful, it is essential to evolve, focus decisions and opt for an omni-channel model allowing to learn and interact in real time with customers. This is where empathy kicks in and is no longer just a topic of discussion.
In a constantly changing world, the first step towards an empathetic approach is agility. monolithic strategies not very agile no longer have their place in the context of a crisis like the one we are going through and in the new world we are going to. All data must be centralized so that companies can deploy new strategies and messages in real time.
With this real time decision making, it is possible to ” analyze the situation of each customer and adapt interactions. To do this, we must ensure that the teams in charge of customer relations are equipped to best respond to new requests from customers . A company that has succeeded in establishing a solid bond with each of its customers will ensure their long-term loyalty.
A company has objectives and must respect its commitments. You must therefore know how to combine your sales strategy with empathy so that your customers are your best allies.
To also read: How to adapt your management to a rapid change context?