Customer experience challenges and wins for businesses whose services were previously face-to-face only

Posted on May 21, 2020

Many companies and industries are finding ways to adapt to not being in an office or conducting their services face-to-face, where it was previously unimaginable, or at least not thought effective.

We’ve been thrust into a world where innovative business practices are the norm and companies need to find a way to adapt, and quickly, so they can still conduct business.

One such example that I experienced was for a surveyor appointment. Surveyors appointments to assess damage internal to a property is something that was always face-to-face. Always. This time, to avoid delays, the company assigned to my case used a video chat app so I could give them a virtual walkthrough showing the damage. They were then able to direct me to what they wanted to see, take pictures/screenshots through the video for their records and make their assessment.

Showing someone around on a video isn’t a new concept in our private lives, but in many businesses, I imagine this ‘new way of doing things’ took some cajoling to get approved. The following questions and assessments were most likely made:

  • is it an effective replacement?
  • will we get the same quality?
  • are we putting ourselves at a disadvantage? / can we be cheated?

On the other hand, not doing something, anything, whilst we’re mostly all locked into our homes is a sure-fire way to lose business. So the impetus is for businesses that can find ways to adapt are the ones that will win.

In this ever-changing world, looking at ways to a adapt and innovate are key. Companies that are willing to challenge the old rule book and think creatively are the most likely to succeed.

Examples of innovation/challenging the rule book of how business was done

1. Mary Portas wrote about restaurants creating a subscription club, where members pay £50 per year and in return receive a range of benefits including 25% discount for their birthday and paying cost price for wine.

2. A drive in cinema where visitors order food via an app.

3. Restaurants showing how to cook their meals at home.

4. Theatres showing world class (and rather expensive to attend pre Covid-19) plays online for free and asking for donations instead.

5. Nightclubs holding virtual raves.

6. Virtual escape room’s have cropped up to replace their interactive in person experience.

7. Pub and bar delivery services