In a post-pandemic world, every company must pivot to a digital-first customer engagement model to survive, writes Robin Fisher, Senior Area Vice President,Salesforce Emerging Markets. As customer priorities and behaviours continue to evolve, so too will business’ relevance and capability to serve them.

Building resilient and loyal customer relationships, investing in the customer experience, and keeping customers engaged is key to long-term business growth and success. Businesses can do this through a commitment to continuous innovation to solve customers’ problems fast, ensuring seamless service from anywhere, and continually adapting to customers’ changing priorities.

Engagement will help to solve customers’ problems

Where the pandemic has created new challenges for consumers, particularly vulnerable individuals unable to leave their homes, it’s crucial that companies provide innovative solutions by way of new products and services. By listening to customers we can understand their problems and find ways to help. The capability to serve on and offline with speed, efficiency and convenience has also shown what it means to be resilient during the crisis.

The pace at which customers have adapted new technologies during the pandemic should give companies confidence to step up their digitisation plans. In doing so, companies will be much better positioned to empower customers to solve problems wherever they are – and prevent them from taking their business elsewhere.

Everyone wants consistent, seamless experiences

Business resilience isn’t just about serving existing customers; during the pandemic we’ve also seen new businesses being set up.  If all customers have one thing in common, it’s their need for convenient and consistent service.

From banking to transport, having reliable technology is fundamental to ensuring agility, for instance, to handle a surge in volumes of loan requests or travel booking queries, enable self-service. At the heart of resilient customer experiences is trust: every business needs to find ways to help customers run their organisation securely from anywhere and keep their data safe.

Organisations have no option but to innovate

During the pandemic we’ve seen how the best companies have built strong resilient customer relationships by handling rapidly rising demand. In retail, for example, technology has played a huge part in giving priority to the shipping of essential products such as hand sanitisers, office products, and children’s books.

As the demand for digital services and more flexible consumer experiences continues to grow, companies have no option but to innovate if they hope to build resilient customer relationships. The successful businesses of the future recognise that adaptability should not end with the pandemic. Those which do not use this moment to respond to customers’ changing priorities will be left behind.

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