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Article: McKinsey Digital Publication

Connecting with Customers in Times of Crisis

April 22, 2020

Industry news curated by Pivot's team. Article published on McKinsey.com.

McKinsey & Company: "During the COVID-19 pandemic, companies that lead with empathy and genuinely address customer needs can strengthen relationships."

The COVID-19 global pandemic has forced individuals and employers to adjust how we live and work. Companies are doing their best to navigate these unprecedented circumstances and to manage the disruptions to their business - from interference with their supply-chain to securing the well-being of their employees.

A survey conducted of US consumers found 64 percent of individuals feeling depressed, anxious, or both since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, while 39 percent of those surveyed responded that they would be unable to pay their bills after just one month of unemployment. McKinsey noted that top organizations have shifted their priorities away from efforts in customer-experience to focus on meeting customers' essential needs. While many companies are heavily promoting a message of “we’re here for you,” it goes without saying that their actions will speak louder than words.

"By consciously providing empathy and care during this crisis, companies can build a foundation of goodwill and long-lasting emotional connections with the communities they serve."

Seven actionable steps to take to demonstrate empathy to your clients:

  1. Minimize risk by reducing physical interaction
  2. Actively contribute to safety by innovating the product portfolio
  3. Provide pragmatic help to customers in financial distress
  4. Bring joy and support the emotional needs of customers 'trapped at home'
  5. Actively shift customers to online channels
  6. Stay reachable and treat customers with care in personal interactions
  7. Demonstrate care for the community through company values

Read the full article here: McKinsey.com.

About the authors: Fabricio Dore is an associate partner in McKinsey’s São Paulo office, Oliver Ehrlich is a partner in the Dusseldorf office, David Malfara is a specialist in the Miami office, and Kelly Ungerman is a senior partner in the Dallas office.