Live long and prosper: Succeeding with customers post-pandemic

Published on Thu, 10/09/2020 - 22:31

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the old ways of doing business pre-pandemic may not be viable or suitable for the months and years ahead. With more people likely to shop, work or run their businesses from home, and with their demands and priorities likely to change, new approaches will most likely be needed in order to best reach out to a very different kind of customer.

There are five principles that should guide a bright customer-facing future, drawing on our own experiences at RSA in keeping our workforce fully connected with brokers:

1: remain open to new ideas. The world is changing faster than it ever has in most of our lifetimes, so adaptability will be absolutely critical to business success. No longer will there be room for the mantra ‘this is the way we’ve always done it’. For example, we at RSA are exploring the virtual space and how we can share information, so brokers can still connect with us in the same ways they would normally do face-to-face. There should be a constant attitude of open-mindedness towards new opportunities for growth, which could be through new markets, different working practices or a shift in your marketing or go-to-market strategies.

2: connect with your customer base. Customers always feel more valued when businesses try to build relationships with them specifically, rather than just treating them as a transaction. This is a key reason behind why we have boosted the headcount of our social team, to bring more news and updates to brokers. People also feel valued when they get quick answers to their queries online, and so we’ve increased our efforts to listen and respond to brokers in real time through live chat. Maintaining regular and relevant communication with customers can play a big part in strengthening a reliable core customer base in the longer term.

3: evolve your online experience. With most physical retail brought to a halt by lockdowns, online purchasing has surged to record levels. The insurance industry has also begun to capitalise on the new trend by offering cover for home-working. And with social distancing likely to be in place for some time as face-to-face retail returns, there’s a strong chance that much of the uptick in online will be sustained. That’s why it’s never been more important to refresh and/or fine-tune your online user experience. Online service support through risk management consultations, and educational content that can position you as a thought leader with customers, can both play a major part in this refresh.

4: show you care about your staff. Now more than ever, customers will be keen to see that businesses value their people by putting them first. Ensuring the workforce is sufficiently distanced and protected from any risk of infection while working is just the first part of this. We’ve already taken steps at RSA to promote better health and wellbeing among our workforce in all areas, with a dedicated team that encourages intra-business communication and that provides resources to help improve both mental and physical health. Demonstrating efforts made around pastoral care within marketing and publicity takes the potential to generate positive brand perception to the next level.

5: strengthen your community ties. Intertwined with the previous point, the pandemic has elicited deeper community bonds between people in many towns and cities. This has already had an impact on business, with 59% of consumers saying they have increased their usage of local services and retailers.

So, with a shift towards customers lending greater support to the economies around them, playing a relevant and proactive role at community levels should help attract an influx of regular, loyal customers. And this is just as achievable for a larger organisation as it is for a small one: the RSA Community Grant Programme is sharing £250,000 to small, local charities who have lost income due to COVID-19. The chosen recipients are nominated by our employees, to ensure the money goes to the causes they care about the most. It has also allowed them to continue supporting issues dear to them, at a time when our corporate volunteering programme has had to be suspended due to the pandemic.

Reach out to a new breed of customer

Register here to view our virtual stand at Airmic Fest for advice and tips, learn about our expert services and hear directly from the RSA team as we work with you to thrive in a time of accelerated change. For more information and registration for Airmic Fest, visit the website. If you are a member or sponsor and require a voucher for FREE registration, please email Airmic.