There’s never been a greater digital training course than the coronavirus crisis, according to Steven van Belleghem, thought leader in the field of customer relationship transformation, technology, and digital marketing. Now that digitalization is the new normal, organizations have to stand out from the crowd not just with technology, but in other ways too. At TOPdesk SEE Online 2020, Steven shared three tips for impressing your customers and employees with more than just a perfect digital user experience.

1. Embrace digital transformation

If your product is flawed or customers are unhappy with your service, there’s no way you’re ever going to win, Steven explains. However, it’s not just your products and services that have to be up to par, but your digital user experience too. Steven: ‘A good digital user experience doesn’t mean that your customers will still see you as standing out from the competition as more time passes. It’s taken as a given these days. Does the digital user experience leave something to be desired? Then your organization is headed for trouble.’

Everything has a digital component, even if you only offer physical products or services. This means you can automate and optimize more and more of your interactions with customers. According to Steven, when automating interactions, the most important thing is to constantly focus on creating benefits for your customers: ‘You can really lift user experience to a new level with technology by making it faster than real time and completely personalized, and by providing ultimate convenience. Take Walmart as an example. It now offers “InHome Grocery” so that customers don’t have to visit a shop. What’s more, they don’t even have to be home. Safe, into-the-fridge grocery delivery – under the watchful eye of a security camera. It’s faster than doing the grocery shopping yourself!’

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2. Shift from product to emotion

Are your organization’s products, services, and customer interactions up to standard? Then the only way for your organization to really stand out is by focusing on emotional convenience: immerse yourself in your customers’ concerns and dreams and respond to them proactively.

Steven notes that many organizations are currently in survival mode. They’re busy with their own problems and are mainly focused on quick fixes, like special offers aimed at selling as many products as possible. But Steven believes this is a shame: ‘It’s such a pity to only think in short-term solutions. Because it’s precisely in times of crisis that many people have extra worries. How do I make sure my loved ones stay healthy? Will I keep my job?

Organizations should be responding to questions like these right now. Ask yourself this question: how do I want people to talk – and feel – about my organization when this crisis is over? See things from your customers’ perspective. For example, a toy manufacturer could offer online educational games to help parents teach their children at home. Or a bank could proactively phone customers to discuss their financial situation and relieve them of worries. That’s how you build trust and a good reputation, and how you become a partner in life – today and after the crisis.’

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3. Take on social responsibility

Apart from their own worries, people are also concerned about society and the world: what is going to happen to the global economy in the years ahead? What impact does the coronavirus crisis have on the climate? Organizations need to take on social responsibility to build trust and a good reputation. And you don’t do that simply by writing a slick mission statement or releasing an extensive CSR policy – it’s about taking action.

But that’s easier said than done. Where do you start? First of all, Steven recommends that you do something for society that’s based on your strengths: ‘For example, LEGO started making protective visors for Danish healthcare workers by re-purposing moulding machines at its factory in Billund. Of course, in typical LEGO fashion, you have to click the visor together yourself. Second, involve your customers and staff in your initiative, and let them be part of the solution you offer. And finally: don’t let perfectionism slow you down. Many organizations prefer to do nothing for fear of being criticized. And that’s how you miss out on the opportunity to make a real difference.

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By using the right tools and technologies and being a life partner in the career of employees, you can take away their worries, inspire them, and help them realize their ambitions.

Don’t forget your employees

Steven’s three tips aren’t just about how you should deal with your customers. In his latest, soon to be released book, Steven also looks at the importance of internal communication. ‘Research has shown that happy employees make happy customers. Internally, organizations have to make just as much of a difference as externally. How? By using the right tools and technologies and being a life partner in the career of employees, you can take away their worries, inspire them, and help them realize their ambitions. What’s more, employees prefer to work for an organization that makes a valuable contribution to society.’

Ready to make a difference?

Now that digital transformation has gained such momentum worldwide, it’s time for organizations to take the next step. According to Steven, this is the perfect time to invest in your brand and reputation. ‘I truly believe that organizations can make a difference by embracing digital transformation, emotional convenience and social responsibility. Not just today, but in the long term too.’

Does your organization already provide a good digital user experience? And are you sure your department knows how to respond to the concerns and ambitions of employees – at both the personal and societal levels? If your organization still needs to pay some attention to these areas, we’ve got good news: in 2021 we’re organizing another edition of TOPdesk SEE – and this time it’ll be live! For more information visit see.topdesk.com and subscribe to the TOPdesk SEE newsletter for a great ticket discount.