How COVID-19 has become an accelerator of digital adoption and a good reminder to build trust with customers


Within months, everything changed. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered various aspects of our life. It began with basic routines, from washing hands to social distancing. Then, in less than a year, we have seen radical changes in our behaviours and the way we consume. 

With all uncertainties in the environment, the entire world went grudgingly in complete isolation or some form of it to survive this pandemic. Companies of every size adopted work-from-home as a way to ensure business continuity.

COVID-19 showed us its ability to alter our individual habits as well as business operations to adapt to new situations. In the midst of all these, organisations fasten their digital transformation as a way to support business efficiency and productivity. The pandemic raised several questions for business leaders. Among the main ones, how to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus as it upsets every aspect of your business?

The real impact of the pandemic on your customers

The coronavirus pandemic impact goes beyond a health issue. It also impacted on the consumption pattern of customers. For instance, there was a shift from purchasing high-end products to buying essentials. Above all, there was a fundamental change in customer behaviour around the world. For organisations, the ripple effects were on four sides:

In the midst of all these changes, how should organisations prepare for the future while adapting to new expectations? We share our thoughts below: 

Connect the touchpoints

To shape a sustainable future in the new normal, companies need to understand how this pandemic is affecting all interaction touch points with their customers and make sure that they are not at the mercy of any such external events.

It is important for B2C companies of all kinds to understand the degree to which the current customer journey has already changed, and just how different it might still become. Understanding new behaviours will help businesses navigate, respond and adapt their different touchpoints.

Businesses need to also connect the different touchpoints for two main reasons: 

  1. Understanding the new behaviour using data and identifying buying trends. This is important as well as brands effort themselves to allocate resources where needed; and 
  2. Ensure a personalised experience both online and offline. This will help brands build strong relevant and fast relationships with their customers; hence helping in retention as well as conversion.

Don’t let panic shake your customer focus

We are all conscious of the potential business benefits in building trustworthy customer engagement and loyalty. Your business’s relationship with customers is built over time, nourished by digital and physical experiences seamlessly and consistently across the customer’s journey.

PwC’s Global Consumer Insights Survey 2020 highlights 4 key acumens that align with questions you should be asking about how recent consumer behavioural changes have affected different phases of the customer purchase journey.

Customer Experience - PwC Mauritius

B2C or B2B, Customer Experience still matters

Real-life experiences with your brand – at each physical, product and digital touch point, is what really matters. Your brand is now the experience you deliver. No matter what industry you are in, in this time of crisis, CX is your new brand. Yet, it raises another question: How do you measure experience?

More businesses are adopting Return of Experience (ROX) as a metric to measure the impact of investments in both Customer Experience (CX) and Employee Experience (EX). Such businesses are able to gain a much wider view compared to those using siloed metrics. If we go by the definition of ROX, it is a new performance management metric that connects both CX and EX and brings together investment in organisational culture as well as in technology and analytics. 

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Connecting experiences and boosting returns

Watch the video about PwC’s “Return On Experience” (ROX)

What’s next? 

Though it’s almost cliché to talk of a new normal at this point, we have to admit there is no quick return to how things were before COVID-19. Change is ongoing, and our ability to adapt is central to who we are as humans. 

At such a critical moment in our recent history, the need for companies to align digital product innovation with their business and establish trust with customers could not be any clearer. 

However, understanding where to focus is the harder part—and it’s central to your success. Here are our top 5 key actions you can take today:

  • Learn about new customer behaviour using data analytics across different channels;
  • Understand that your customers are going online more than ever before. Hence, there is a shift in decision power from brands to customers. Focus on delivering a memorable experience both online and offline. This will be your main differentiator;
  • Reallocate your resources and your employees where you are gaining more conversion;
  • Personalise the experience you are providing by integrating a proper customer relationship management approach, which includes your employees; and
  • Optimise your resources and touchpoints by identifying key bottlenecks.

Customers, more than ever, have the power to dictate how and when they want to do business with you – and if you aren’t available, someone else will be. 

In fact, customers are interacting with companies digitally in every facet of their day-to-day lives. Think how easy it is to use your mobile device to transfer money, monitor your Bank transactions, book a flight or simply order a pizza! So, why should your customers expect anything less? 

With good data, the right leadership, ways of working and a holistic approach, we believe digital products can solve organisational challenges and lead the way to next-level value and customer service.

If you have not put innovation and customer experience at the heart of your business, now is the time.

Vikas Sharma - PwC Mauritius

Vikas Sharma
Partner, Consulting

Nelly Lacaze - PwC Mauritius

Nelly Lacaze
Manager, Consulting

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Contact us

Jean-Pierre Young

Jean-Pierre Young

Advisory Leader, PwC Mauritius

Tel: +230 404 5028

Vikas Sharma

Vikas Sharma

Consulting, Partner, PwC Mauritius

Tel: +230 404 5015

Ariane Serret

Ariane Serret

Senior Manager, Clients and Markets Development, PwC Mauritius

Tel: +230 4045029

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