Experience Design in the Pandemic Era
In March, we knew that the COVID-19 pandemic would have a profound impact on people, brands, and life as we knew it, but there was hope that the impact would last for just weeks or months before we would move on to the “new normal.” As time has gone on, perspectives have changed. We now recognize what we thought were temporary pivots due to COVID-19 will not be as temporary as planned. We are now in a new era, an era that strategist Victoria Kaulback calls “The Pandemic Era.”
What does the idea of the pandemic era mean to customer experience and innovation leaders?
The truth is that we all spent the first few months of the pandemic era being reactive. Now, it is time to be proactive. We all must develop strategies and plans focused on designing experiences for the pandemic era and the post-pandemic era that will follow.
How are you engaging your audiences to understand how their needs, motivations, habits, and behaviors have evolved in the last six months?
There has never been a more important time to listen to your customers and those you serve. This pandemic has caused people to re-evaluate everything in their lives. How has that affected their relationship with your organization? There is just one way to find out - speak with them. Now is the time to understand how their needs have evolved so that you can design experiences that meet their needs now and in the future.
As trust becomes a key currency in the pandemic era, how are you building and maintaining trust with those you serve? As COVID-19 has disrupted people’s lives, plans, and habits, engaging with brands they trust has become a huge priority. Delivering authenticity and establishing trust will differentiate brands and organizations in the pandemic era and beyond. While it certainly starts with safety, It’s never been more important to understand how your audiences define trust and to ensure that you have a plan to deliver on all aspects of it.
How are you approaching the transition from in-person to digital interactions and experiences? The pandemic era began with the forced migration from in-person to digital experiences. New digital experiences were quickly launched without time for design or user feedback. Now, as we recognize many of these new experiences will be permanent or long-term, it is time to take a step back and ensure these experiences are meeting the needs of your audiences. In March and April, people were more patient as we were all trying to navigate in a new era. Today, expectations are higher, and consumers are much more likely to switch brands for a better experience.
Every organization is facing challenges that they could not have imagined six months ago - none of this was part of anyone’s 2020 plan! The organizations that listen to their customers, truly understand their needs, and design experiences to meet and exceed those needs will be the organizations that come out of this pandemic, not just surviving, but positioned to flourish in the pandemic and post-pandemic era.
In my next article, I’ll share more about what we at Cast & Hue consider to be one of the most important tools for brands to have in this era - demand profiles. In the meantime, feel free to reach out with any questions or thoughts.