Opinion: The new normal customer, Digital outlook


Chathura Jayawardena, Director of Abans Information Systems​

Dealing with the unexpected as expected would become the new norm business skill which businesses should be confident with. The unprecedented socioeconomic pressure built upon by this crisis has led many businesses to experience a long-dormant period or complete collapse. The circumstances of social distancing, remote working and global isolation forced upon by the pandemic has caused a series of unexpected market conditions which could not be predicted in almost any formulated business strategy. Despite the circumstances, the majority of businesses began to accelerate their digital transformation initiative with renewed enthusiasm as a response to the ongoing situation. On the other hand, businesses which already operated with infused digital capabilities gained a tremendous boost as the sudden technology diffusion towards masses of consumers has been completely unanticipated. Hence the so called new normal urged many businesses to work with a new perspective as things may never return to the way they used to be. ​

Digital Customer Experience​ – Incremental digital adoption has influenced every business, reinforcing the necessity of blending in the magic of digital technology towards creating revitalized business strategies to create an unparalleled digital customer experience. Businesses across industries focus on transforming transactional interfaces and greater diversification into digital advertising as the go-to strategy of creating a digital customer experience. However, creating a sustainable and impactful digital    customer experience depends on how effectively end to end sales process transform digitally to be responsive towards buyer behavior which may consist of the ability to mirror the customer journey by utilizing interconnected digital platforms.

Customer Relationship​ – The current situation signifies the critical importance for businesses to stay as relevant as possible to the need of the moment and stay connected with the customer in a more meaningful way. It is obvious that both customers and businesses are experiencing a sequence of unexpected distress caused by many social and financial complexities. However, it is very important that employees and       management of any business hold back such emotional reactions and follow an empathetic approach towards customers unless the business agenda is purely short term and transactional. 

Equally it is also important to re-assess marketing approaches as the velocity of digital content-driven marketing is forming it to be the core of the marketing mix. Many businesses tend to put marketing budget at scrutiny when times are uncertain like now, however, modern platforms have allowed publication and distribution of content to become much easier, cheaper, faster and more direct than it used to be, which is why businesses must scale digital representation in   multiple platforms in a synergistic manner.  Hence the role of relationships would function with increased remote collaboration within and out of different verticals of the business. It is important that business leadership understand the criticality of this novelty and allocate adequate digital resources which support real-time decision making, enabling effective capacity planning and appropriate resource allocation for the different scenarios which could be in play for the business.

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