The Experience Leaders making a difference during COVID-19
The COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented and the road map for the year ahead has been ripped up. What matters is how you act in the here and now.
We’re highlighting some of the leading examples of brands adapting to the situation by providing experiences that make a difference to their customers and employees at this time.
Right now, customer needs are changing every day. People are needing to change the way they shop, how they can travel, where they eat and how they stay in contact with loved ones. In short, our priorities have shifted and no one knows for how long. How you live up to your brand values right now, both internally and externally, will have a lasting impact on your company.
These times are unprecedented, and we want to help businesses as best we can. Which is why we have created the Customer Confidence Pulse - a free tool, available to all, that will help you to understand and meet your customer needs at this time.
We’re highlighting some of the companies that have adapted to meet new expectations - from employees, customers and their product - ensuring the experiences they provide are valuable at this time. The following examples may be helpful to you or your business too.
With the COVID-19 crisis requiring people to stay indoors, food delivery services are more important than ever. What is impressive about DoorDash is that they have made changes to their delivery and worker policies to protect their customers and employees.
DoorDash says on their blog that “Around the globe, the restaurants that form the backbone of our communities are being asked to change how they operate.” So DoorDash is too.
What DoorDash is doing:
- Deliveries are now contact-free. This change to their product experience has immediately been implemented as standard, giving reassurance and protection to both their customers and delivery drivers. And if drivers do get sick or are otherwise affected, they have access to financial support from their employer if eligible.
- DoorDash has also made important adjustments to its business model to help more local businesses quickly sign up for their service, giving commission relief and marketing support to those new and existing partners. This helps in three ways - customers have more choice, businesses can get valuable income at this time - quickly, and DoorDash has a stronger service offering than before.
As businesses, families and schools quickly adjust to remote work, this is easier for some than others. Never before have tools that connect people at scale been so important, so Zoom is trying to make this transition as seamless as possible.
We feel very proud. We’ve seen that what we are doing here, we can contribute a bit to the world - CEO Eric Yuan
What Zoom is doing::
- Zoom is now free for K-12 schools impacted by Coronavirus, helping to ensure that children can continue learning and remain productive.
- Zoom has also created additional support resources to help new customers adapt to connecting remotely, and make sure all customers are maximizing the product’s full capabilities. These include daily live demos, webinars, tutorials and FAQs.
In this crisis, we’re seeing companies just wanting to make a difference for the greater good. Allbirds certainly did that by listening to their customers to deliver a meaningful experience in this time.
What Allbirds is doing:
- As a token of their appreciation, Allbirds donated shoes to US Healthcare workers currently fighting on the front lines.
- And whilst they donated $500k of shoes in the first week, continuing this wasn’t sustainable. But Allbirds wanted to do more within their means and customers really wanted to help too.
We’re better together - Allbirds
- So, Allbirds tweaked their product and customer offering again, and created a Buy one + Give one model, where customers could buy a pair of shoes and split the cost of the donated pair of trainers between company and customer. Or customers could simply donate a pair themselves. A great example of adapting to the situation, meeting your customer’s needs that might not always be what you expect, and protecting the overall Allbirds experience moving forward.
For many, self-isolating indoors can make it difficult to exercise and practice positive well-being. Peloton, a firm that provides live and on-demand classes, can help by transporting you to the studio, sprinting in search of the finish line - and your personal best. Peloton’s product offering means they can provide a vital experience to their members during this crisis. And with a couple of adaptations to their service offering and set-up, that’s exactly what they’re doing.
What Peloton is doing:
- As gyms close and people can no longer attend classes, Peloton has introduced a 90-day trial to its subscription service. Here, people can access classes on demand and make sure they stay active and healthy. And if you don’t have access to a bike? There’s more. Peloton has something for everyone - including yoga, running, circuits and strength.
- The Peloton studios may be closed to the public to protect employees and customers, but the content doesn’t stop. Peloton will continue to stay true to why it exists in the first place - to get as many people as active and healthy as possible.
As we are a “Members First” organization...and [will enable] our Support teams to work remotely so that Members...stay healthy and connected. - Cofounder & CEO John Foley
Airbnb knows a lot about experiences. Luxury, no-frills, convenience. All over the world. In fact, you could say they have all angles covered. But the current COVID-19 crisis has meant that holidays, work trips and travel in general has had to be put on hold. In an act of leadership, Airbnb has reacted to the situation and taken the decision to help where they can most.
What Airbnb is doing:
- Airbnb is “partnering with [its] hosts to connect 100,000 healthcare providers, relief workers, and first responders with clean, convenient places to stay.”
- This will allow them to be “close to their patients — and safely distanced from their own families” if necessary.
- This is another example of brands engaging with their customer base and creating a platform for people to help. Partners can choose to offer their place for free, but if they can’t, then Airbnb is waiving all Airbnb fees.
Airbnb is a company founded on the value of community, and what’s impressive about this initiative is that it's an act of genuine care that comes from the core of what they stand for as a business. For that alone, this act will be remembered by partners and existing and potential customers for the good it was intended.
The Hinge Dating experience is based around in-person experiences. But what happens when this isn’t possible? If we’re staying and working from home, how about dating from home - or #DFH, too? In fact, 70% of their users are “down for a digital date”, so by listening to their users there can be confidence this is a solution their users will get on board with.
What Hinge is doing:
- Hinge has created a new experience for users where people date from home, and the company has brought in tools to help.
- If you’re using Zoom, Hinge has created a series of backdrops to make your date feel a little bit more like real life. Visit the bar, or take a stroll along the beach. If that’s not for you, you could have a chat around the campfire instead.
- They have also adapted their messaging in their product to reflect this shift in approach, not only making sure that users remain socially responsible and don’t sneak out of the house, but giving the user a connected experience at every touchpoint, including their app and social media
At Qualtrics, we want to do our bit to help too. It can be daunting to know what to do, and how to do it. Which is why we have created the Customer Confidence Pulse to help your business understand how your customers are feeling so you can prioritize where the need is most important.
These tools are free, and available to every organization.
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