Covid-19 kick-starts the 21st Century’s own “industrial revolution” and CX is leading the way

October 07, 2020

Over the past few months, many analysts, including Mark Hillary in his CX Files podcast – CX is leading other industries to the new normal, have highlighted just how quickly and successfully many involved in customer experience have adapted to the unprecedented situation.

Governments and companies made quick decisions to change to provide safety for their people. This has been challenging for some industries and less so for others. But what is clear is the success of many customer experience providers.

But why has CX been so successful in leading other industries to the new normal?

For those working in customer service, it was relatively easy to spread their people out, not by making the space physically greater between them within the building, but by sending them to work-at-home and enabling them to be effective in a home-based environment. This wasn’t possible for all business functions. Factories, for example, had to reconfigure machinery and production lines to allow people to work 2 metres apart. And, unlike just sending their employees home, this process couldn’t happen overnight, it took weeks or even months, having a significant impact on the business and productivity.

Customer service teams had another advantage

When it comes to serving customers, CX teams were already doing it remotely from the customer, via phone, email, and online. Unlike other areas of businesses, they were never face-to-face with the customer, making it easier to adapt to a world where in-person contact isn’t possible.

Just as the industrial revolution completely revolutionised the economy and society, the Covid-19 pandemic has turned ‘normal’ on its head. It may have previously been the norm to jump on a plane and fly to meet a potential client but now it’s clear that this is not strictly necessary – meetings can take place remotely. Likewise, agents don’t need to be in an office to deliver customer service, nor do buyers need to be in a shop to buy. Many physical retailers must move their business model online and become digital if they are to survive.

For cinema fans, these last few months have been challenging not having their weekly movie fix. But streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ allow us to bring the cinema experience into our homes. And, while we may not be able to dine at our favourite restaurants, food ordering services make it possible for them to serve us at home. Things are changing fast, businesses are adapting and evolving. And let’s not forget, the original industrial revolution lasted 60+ year (1760-1820), whereas our change has so far taken just 6 months!

Just as technology enabled the industrial revolution, it is also enabling today’s consumers and companies to respond and adapt to what’s going on around the world. It can’t stop the Covid-19 pandemic, but it does allow us to change our ways.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced quick and, in some cases, dramatic change to the way we work and live, with many of those changes being permanent. We have adapted to a totally unprecedented scenario, and the CX industry has been at the forefront of change.

For more information on how SYKES and SYKESHome can help with your CX strategy, please get in touch!

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