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Many businesses think they've damaged customer relations during pandemic

(Image credit: Image Credit: Chombosan / Shutterstock)

A third of business leaders believe they have failed to properly communicate with their customers during the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in damage to the brand and also customer trust.

This is according to a new report from Pegasystems, which found that a third of business leaders (36 percent) lost customers during the pandemic due to poor communication practices.

A similar proportion (37 percent) said at least one poorly-received communication had hurt their brand reputation, while more than half (54 percent) believe they should have done more to help their customers during the crisis.

Further, three quarters (74 percent) said the pandemic exposed more gaps in their business operations and systems than anticipated.

In order to mitigate the damage, improve brand reputation and, ultimately, survive in a post-Covid-19 environment, many businesses (91 percent) are turning towards digital transformation.

Almost two thirds (62 percent) said they will prioritise digital transformation, with 58 percent speeding up current projects and 56 percent investing even more budget in related initiatives.

Of all the different aspects of transformation, businesses are most interested in adopting cloud-based systems, customer relationship management solutions and AI-driven analytics and decision-making.

“What this research makes clear is that digital transformation can no longer be seen as a ‘nice to have’ for today’s businesses as they face a radically changed landscape,” said Don Schuerman, CTO and Vice President of Product Marketing, Pegasystems.

“If today’s organisations are to truly learn the lessons of the current crisis and future proof themselves against mass-scale events, then they need to understand that the customer must be put at the centre of everything they do. Unfortunately, for many, it appears that it’s a lesson that may have been learned in the hardest way possible.”