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Does your CX strategy include a customer relief program? Maybe it should

360 Magazine 
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Does your CX strategy include a customer relief program? Maybe it should

I’ve been seeing business leaders offering their opinion about the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank all week. I’ve only seen one publicly commit to doing something about it. And of course, it was a former chief customer officer.

Earlier this week on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, HubSpot CEO Yamini Rangan made a special announcement:

“We are creating a Customer Relief Fund to help our customers impacted by SVB with extended payment terms and support,” Rangan wrote“Details to follow early this week, but we know small businesses and startups need our support right now. HubSpot is with you and will standby to support you, customers.”

I haven’t seen those details yet, either on Rangan’s accounts or on HubSpot’s web site, but it almost doesn’t matter. I’m glad she didn’t wait to have her team draft a formal press release or blog post. The panic set by SVB’s failure has sparked considerable panic among businesses and government, and not merely in the U.S.

If there was a time for brands to step, this was it. Rangan, and HubSpot, stepped up.

This is not the first time HubSpot has demonstrated leadership in this area. During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, when there was a similar level of fear and business disruption, the company introduced relief measures for its partners, including reduced pricing and special discount offers.

Not every company will be in a position to offer its customers financial relief, of course. In many cases, however, I doubt whether even the possibility of introducing such measures have been formally part of a customer experience (CX) strategy.

For the most part, CX has been about making the company more appealing so customers will make a purchase. Then it’s making the purchase easy and ensuring the service options are effective without being a huge drain on resources. That’s the journey.

See Also

The past few years have shown the reality is much less linear. Customers have a lot going on in their lives, from a stalled supply chain to geopolitical conflicts and ongoing restrictions to keep the remaining risks of the pandemic contained. You can no longer assume that most customers – whether they’re consumers or businesses – are existing in a happy vacuum.

Whether it’s changing prices, offering deferred payment plans or other tactics, customer relief is a powerful addition to CX strategies. It recognizes that the customer journey can take some highly unpleasant and unexpected turns – or that circumstances may conspire to make it impossible for the customer journey to begin in the first place.

Successful businesses have learned (in some cases the hard way) that they should have backup and business continuity plans to ensure their operations can be restored in the event of a cybersecurity attack or natural disaster. A customer relief program is similar. Ideally it might never have to be used. If you really value the relationship with your customers, though, it will be ready when it’s needed.

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