Re-writing the customer playbook during the COVID-19 pandemic


By Gerald Marion, Chief Customer and Strategy Officer, Bupa ANZ.

In Australia, the COVID-19 pandemic has sent shockwaves through almost every societal touchpoint. The way we shop, the way we interact and the way we work were all transformed at the blink of an eye last month with no definitive end in sight.

However, it seems two of the most deeply affected human values have been how we view our health and wellbeing, and how we view our personal finances.

Where we once thought an apple a day kept the doctor away, now we hope 30 hand washes a day keeps the doctor away. Where we once felt secure in the Australian economy, a recent McKinsey study[1] on COVID-19 consumer habits suggested 64% of Australians are worried their families’ income will be impacted by COVID-19 to a level where they won’t be able to make ends meet.

As a health and care organisation, understanding how our members are experiencing and responding to COVID-19 is extremely important so we can engage with them meaningfully and effectively.

This means throwing out the pre-COVID-19 playbook and thinking about how we can respond to our customers' needs now and into the post-COVID-19 future. There are three things that we, and all customer-focused organisations need to do in a post-COVID world. They are:

  1. Engage with customers in a different way
  2. Put ourselves in our customers’ shoes and see what else organisations can be doing to be more meaningful and relevant, and
  3. Accelerate the digitisation of businesses to improve convenience and engagement for customers

Our commitment to helping customers live longer, healthier and happier lives is unchanged from years gone by. However, the ways in which we help our customers achieve those important goals will never stop changing.

[1] https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/retail/our-insights/survey-food-retail-in-australia-during-the-covid-19-pandemic