In this conversation we discuss how the pandemic has shifted our focus to basic priority needs and how safety, empathy and the digitisation of human interaction will have an enduring impact on customers’ expectations.

Basic priority needs

Before COVID we took our basic needs for granted– getting our shopping, taking our children to school, attending doctor’s appointments – basic human needs that previously required heavy human interaction. Everything has now shifted, and our basic needs have turned into priority needs, priority needs that need to now be serviced digitally. Businesses that are able to adapt and respond with the ability to digitise or better service these priority basic needs through digital business models will be the ultimate winners.

Accelerated digital acceptance

Now is the time to be looking at what parts of your business model can be digitised, to be trialing new technologies that will addresses these basic needs. Because of the overwhelming demand to safely fulfil our basic priority needs, we as a population are now more trusting and accepting of new technologies than ever before. We have more faith in non-human contact and experiences. We are expecting that more of our interactions could and should be able to be serviced digitally. These expectations and behaviours are likely to stick and will continue to transform, they are unlikely to revert back to what they were pre-COVID.

We are also more tolerant of the inconveniences that may come from testing and implementing these new technologies, we’re more patient because it’s allowing us to access our basic priority needs safely, digitally. This is fuelling the acceleration of digital acceptance with tech that was maybe on the cusp now being fast-tracked at rapid speed. What that looks like for each sector may look different, but one thing is common, the shift in the expectations and behaviours of consumers across the board will be different in the ‘next’ normal than it was pre-COVID.

Enduring trust and loyalty

We’ve all experienced firsthand examples of the local café who built trust through pivoting its takeaway offering to better serve the needs of their communities. People will remember who was there to bring them what their incumbents couldn’t. They will remember who was there to service the ‘last mile’. Businesses who have empathy and purpose ingrained in how they are engaging with their customers during this time and for this last mile will be cement their customers’ trust and loyalty. And the ability to leverage digital technologies will enable businesses to own the last mile interaction with their customers, ensuring that the trust and loyalty built is enduring.

Conversations with Digital

This episode is part of our Conversations with Digital series, a collection of virtual conversations dedicated to helping you embrace the new, using new ways of working, we leverage new solutions, new strategies, new partnerships, and new experiences to make sure you’re always ahead of what’s new. To tune in to some of our other episodes, click here.

Published 18 Jan 2021

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