The COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered businesses around the world, forcing millions of people to work from home and millions more into unemployment. As the economic effects of closures cascade, firms need to accommodate customers and partners with uncertain or reduced incomes — or lose their business entirely.

Forrester has published a new report which highlights how 26 B2C and B2B firms in Asia Pacific are changing their policies and strategies to support their customers in these tumultuous times. These examples span the financial services, telecom, automotive, retail, airline and tech industries (and more), across Australia, India, China and Southeast Asia.

Leading firms:

  • Removed sources of customer stress. The crisis is upending everything about customers’ lives, from where (and if) they work to how they buy groceries. The rules and regulations that create friction and annoyance for customers in normal times become anywhere from painful to unbearable in bad times. Some companies are reevaluating existing policies and changing their approach, specifically to reduce unnecessary pain during this unstable time.
  • Added benefits that demonstrate values. Brand promises and corporate values are just words on a page until customers see how they’re operationalized. Firms that aim to live up to their brand promise and demonstrate their values are offering additional or enhanced benefits that create the glue in sticky, loyal relationships.
  • Improved the ecosystem partner experience. Companies are flexing their approaches to dealing with suppliers and customers alike, changing contracts and payment terms to support partners when cash flows are less reliable. They’re also looking out for society at large.

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