COVID-19 has upended the customer experience, but brands now need to be thinking beyond short-term fixes and develop twin strategies for both brand and customer journey recovery.

Some brands have been ahead of the curve in terms of pivoting to e-commerce, ensuring better stock availability and increasing efficiencies – and while these are all essential measures, they were most relevant at the beginning of the crisis and they only deal with the short term.

“What’s more important (and harder to do) is how brands can thrive and become better for people in the long term,” according to Charlotte Lo, customer experience director at BBH.

“This is a unique opportunity for brands to reignite consumer confidence by investing in better customer experience,” she writes in an exclusive WARC article.

Separate research from Salesforce and PwC indicates that this is hugely significant to consumers: 84% of customers say a brand’s experience is as important as its products and services and 86% are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.

Brands can re-evaluate their role in people’s lives in more meaningful ways, she advises. And with uncertainty around when recovery will happen, it is now more important than ever that brands maintain their presence and do more for their customers.

There are a number of ways to approach this, such as reimagining your proposition across various scenarios. BBH sees three possible ones: a brand new world, a world with a few adjustments, a world that hasn’t changed and is simply on hold.

Lo also cites the behavioural principle of reciprocity which suggests that consumers will remember positively the brands that they felt looked after them during this time.

Leon’s Feed Britain initiative, for example, delivered family-sized restaurant meals directly to households whilst simultaneously helping the NHS. “Yes, it is possible to combine profit with purpose,” Lo observes.

For more on ways to consider both the brand and customer recovery journeys, read Charlotte Lo’s article in full: Rebuilding customer experience for the COVID-19 recovery.

Sourced from WARC