We anticipate that the crisis will fundamentally alter how companies engage with customers, setting the stage for unprecedented opportunities. To seize these, companies should:
Create forward-thinking engagement models
Companies should determine which customer touchpoints demand greater investment and where decreased investment makes sense. Building real-time channel dashboards to continuously reevaluate and recalibrate channel investments can help companies keep ahead of demand and drive profitable growth. This demand may include "phy-gital" (digital + physical) experiences, such as contactless delivery and telemedicine, as well as virtual engagement innovations such as virtual reality and augmented reality.
Cultivate the right workforce mix
The right workforce mix can provide a balance of consistency and flexibility necessary to meet evolving customer expectations. Portions of the workforce that moved to work from home during the crisis will continue that arrangement, so companies should establish new work-at-home (WAH) standards, including types of laptops and Internet speed. New standards should also be established for non-WAH positions, including skill requirements and flexibility across sales and service, front office and back office. Hiring for this new talent mix means that job profiles and recruiting will need to be adjusted. Performance management and measurement should also be redefined to ensure customers receive end-to-end service.
Be nimble with physical space and technology
Companies are increasingly reevaluating their physical spaces for value and viability. Shared space models can reduce companies' space requirements, while the spaces that remain—particularly in retail settings—must be evolved to include new hygiene standards and integrated technology. When it comes to determining what to offer customers, companies should invest in advanced, real-time analytics to inform decision-making. Companies should consider scrapping traditional software development norms to debut capabilities more rapidly. Plug-and-Play adaptability and pricing flexibility from platforms providers can also speed the implementation of new capabilities.