With organisations across the world beginning to show the first signs of emerging from the lockdown, the strategy to help business recovery is at the forefront of every decision maker's mind. For the first time in a while, businesses should step away from technology and replace it with empathy, and lean into an ongoing, rapid process of human insights gathered from customers. An ability to understand and adapt to evolving customer needs has become the new competitive advantage. When brands get it right, it will help them recover post-COVID.

With this sudden business model disruption, now is an opportunity for businesses to rethink how they actually connect with customers in meaningful ways, and look to bring much needed empathy into their brand experience - empathy that, crucially, should be relatable and based on insight.

Hopefully, companies can emerge from this situation and continue to provide all of us with the many conveniences of doing business through digital channels. Moving forward, companies will need an approach that shows they know who we are, they understand our concerns and our desires and are adaptable while helping us reconnect with each other. Although tech may be what is helping us get by right now, it will be our humanity and empathy that helps us re-engage with the world when we get through this fully.

Consumer behaviour isn’t what it used to be; people are behaving in ways we never could have predicted and this is not going to change anytime soon. Brands everywhere are now faced with this challenge and must re-learn who their customer is and what they care about at this moment in time. To do this, companies must connect directly to real customers and listen to them in order to understand how to adapt on a regular basis. No decisions should be made on ‘what could work well’, as it is more important than ever to regain customer loyalty.

During this challenging time, UserTesting has been working with consumers and companies to try to determine the answers, such as when are consumers in a place to receive promotions and discount offers and more. The human insight platform enables companies to have remote access to more than a million consumers around the world so they can see, hear and talk to their customers to understand their needs and concerns. It is from there it's able to bring customer empathy into a company’s strategy, to help make more informed business decisions.

One of the industries that has been hit the hardest during this time is the travel industry. It’s not clear when we’ll all be able to travel again but SkyScanner has taken this opportunity to communicate with customers to help develop a new marketing campaign during this time. The Global Brand Director, Jo McClintock said:

"Now more than ever it’s important that brands understand what their customers are thinking and feeling. Thanks to UserTesting we’re speaking to travelers every week, with the insight being used to inform decision making across our entire business. It has been invaluable to help us pivot our marketing activities to focus solely on supporting travelers with help, hope, and empathy during this time, resulting in the launch of a global social media campaign entitled #WeWill."

Using customer insight is paramount into developing a new or adapted strategy during this fast-paced and ever-changing situation. By understanding your customer’s feelings and desires, you’ll be confident in launching new marketing campaigns that will land with consumers and get you back on the road to business success.


Written by Andy MacMillan, CEO, UserTesting

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