COVID19 has changed how we live. From managing our mental and physical health to how we interact with the world, we now need to think twice about how to keep ourselves and those around us safe. For companies, these changes have posed significant challenges.

To stay viable, 80% now believe they need to shift their business model to digital. Plus, a further 97% of enterprise decision-makers have said the pandemic has accelerated their digital transformation. With 60% of Americans being very concerned about their safety, and that of their families, the new normal demands greater digitization of services and more overt demonstrations of empathy.

What do these changes mean for CX?

To meet these demands you need to transform your digital Customer Experience. And you need to do it fast. Here are some key trends to consider for your post-COVID19 digital transformation:

  • Smart Visual Configurators: Especially important for complex product and service offerings. Your customers need easy and fast ways to configure, personalize, customize purchases online with real time previews and pricing.
  • Conversational AI: Resolving customer queries in a fast and effective way drives conversions. The growing popularity of virtual assistants and chatbots, powered by Artificial Intelligence, proves this. Conversational AI addresses round-the-clock queries, which leads to faster conversions, happier customers, and better potential for international commerce.
  • Increased security protections: Trust is everything when it comes to digital sales. Even before the outbreak, 87% of customers said they would take their business elsewhere if they didn't trust a firm to look after their data. Throughout the customer service experience, reassure your customers by being transparent about how you'll use their data. Securing your website by renewing your SSL certificate is also a must.
  • Enhanced health safety measures: Keeping customers safe from harm should be central to your customer experience strategy. But how will you do it? Social distancing, sanitization, and contactless technology are a few of the adaptive strategies firms are using to reassure customers. Make sure to highlight customer safety in your digital marketing channels and FAQs.
  • Better demonstrations of empathy: Increasing levels of empathy in your digital strategy starts with strong research. This is because empathy depends on understanding the person you're communicating with. Are you encouraging regular feedback? Have you built personas and analyzed behaviors using data insights? When 50% of Americans say the pandemic is harming their mental health, it's also important to be responsible when promoting your brand.

Human-Centered Design (HCD) is now a minimum expectation in CX

Addressing these expectations can be achieved using an approach from the realm of product design. Human-Centered Design (HCD) puts the human at the center of the design process. HCD focuses on the needs, wants, wishes, and lifestyles of the humans you expect to use your products or services, without only focusing on the technology you'll use to meet them.

HCD can address the emerging expectations of customers, where the design principle rests at the intersection between empathy, creativity, and the needs of a business. To humanize the process and increase the ability to empathize with the needs of the customer, the word 'human' must replace the word 'user'. To understand the difference, it's worth considering some of the questions to ask when planning your customer journey.

  • Instead of 'How can we increase customer loyalty', HCD encourages you to consider how you can make people happy with your products or services.
  • Rather than consider 'How could we increase conversions?', think about how you can help customers get their needs met, so they're encouraged to buy from you.

HCD is far from being a new concept...A design company named IDEO was the first to introduce the computer mouse for Apple back in 1980. Applying Human-Centered Design principles to its conception, the team came up with three phases to the HCD process:

  • Inspiration: On-the-ground research that enables designers to view the experience through the customer's eyes
  • Ideation: Testing the solution you've come up with to ensure it is fit for the needs of your people
  • Implementation: Marketing your product to the needs of your consumers, not the features of the product

"If you want to improve a piece of software all you have to do is watch people using it and see when they grimace, and then you can fix that". -- David Kelley, Founder of IDEO

Custom Software Development delivers optimal HCD experiences

With so much talk of 'the new normal', companies need to get clear on the needs of their users. Executing on a Human-Centered Design requires technology tailored to your specific solution. When choosing to invest in digital transformation it's imperative to review the design of your Customer Experience and make sure it's laser focused on your customer’s needs and that the technology you employ to deliver it does not compromise the design or your commitment to your customer.

Using technology to match the needs of the people you serve is at the heart of our work. At Intelifaz our mission is to take your Customer Experience to the next level. Contact us to learn more.