<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=306561&amp;fmt=gif">

Customer360: LIVE

July 20 & 21, 2021 | DESKTOP, MOBILE & TABLET



How has COVID-19 affected consumer behaviour?

Many organisations had already begun their digital transformation before the pandemic struck. What those organisations have come to realise is that COVID-19 has also provided the opportunity to migrate customers to digital channels.

 Consumers are seeing the benefits of this transformation too. However, advises Douglas Van Wyk, Infobip Africa’s SADC Regional Manager, if consumers are to receive a rich digital experience, organisations need to take steps in ensuring that customer service agents have consumer data at their fingertips.

 Corinium previously hosted a Customer360 Africa Online event that included a panel discussion on how the pandemic has shifted consumer behaviour, and how this has impacted organisations’ approach to CX management. The discussion, facilitated by Antonie Fourie, SA Home Loans’ Client Experience, Product and Research Senior Manager featured Van Wyk and Lerato Rikhotso, MultiChoice Africa’s Group Executive Head: Customer Experience and Care.

 Rikhotso said, “I’m in the pay TV space, working throughout Africa, so I’ve been exposed to wide customer reactions to lockdown; there've been many similarities. For example, TV wasn’t previously considered essential but as people became confined at home, it became more important to them.”

 A few other key take-aways from the discussion include:


  • Customers want socially conscious enterprises: 

Rikhotso challenged organisations to redefine the value they’re offering clients, “Ask yourself how you can reposition your brand as a value-add or show that you care. Our customer service side became very critical-- we became aware that customers were questioning the value of our product when live sports went away.”

 “That made us look at our ecosystem, trying to accommodate the pandemic’s impact.”

  • Transformation on a silver platter:

"When traditional contact centres had to close down, customers migrated in volumes from assisted service to self-service, proving that customers are tech savvy," says Rikhotso. 

 "For business, these digital channels offer cost savings: The average cost of service on digital channels is below $ 0.20 versus around $2 for an assisted channel." She considers the pandemic an opportunity to make self-service an industry standard, 'it would be foolish of any company to try to rewind what's been done when things go back to' normal'.

 Van Wyk added, "I think a hybrid shopping model (physical and online stores) will be the way forward because, let's face it, not everything can be bought online."

  • Be everywhere your customer is:

Van Wyk said, “There are times a business has to shut down immediately because someone may have become infected with the virus. In this case, businesses have to be agile in sharing their trading information.”

 “This is where a digital experience matters to customers. They don’t just want you available all the time, they want you everywhere they are now because of movement restrictions.”

 “Brand loyalty went out the window with the pandemic (we’ve seen lower interest rates so people can spend more money but some people have lost jobs and can no longer afford what they used to) so it’s important to find ways to bring the product closer to the customer.”

  • Don’t try reinvent the wheel:

Rikhotso said, "I'm that customer that still prefers a physical shopping experience, otherwise I won't spend anything. How can retailers reach me and get me to spend money? Maybe sites can become more interactive, more 3D so I can have a virtual experience with the product."

 "Physical stores are still relevant but there are now opportunities to repurpose the space and create an experience for shoppers."

 Van Wyk concluded: "You have to make sure that the customer's digital journey is channel agnostic and is supported through the whole business. If a customer visits your website and adds an item to the basket but logs off before they buy it, what do you do? If you have a customer profile, you’ll already have their preferred channel of communication and can quickly send a message to find out why the purchase wasn’t completed.”


“The main thing here is that the customer data has to be available to service agents so they can be fully prepared to handle any ticket.

Don't miss Customer360 Africa in July, there will be more than 40+ CX Experts sharing their insights.