The pandemic has put a strain on all relationships. None more so than the relationship between a business and customer. Whether you take a customers’ or a businesses’ perspective, you’d like to know, as things settle down, what kind of relationships do you want, and what kind of relationships will you have, in the future.

When the pandemic hit we were already undergoing a digital revolution. The pandemic accelerated our digital behaviours (for even the most adamant of digital resistors) as we all found new ways to maintain some aspects of our valued relationships or to find new relationships that sustained our needs through the pandemic.

As customers we might have ordered a ‘take away’ Sunday lunch from our favourite pub or jumped on a Zoom with our Pilates instructor. As businesses, we might have used Teams to talk to customers, colleagues and partners. But research shows we also experimented with new forms of relationships. Shopping or banking online, downloading new apps to maintain our physical and mental health, not travelling yet still finding ways to grow new clients, or reaching out to new social networks to maintain our sanity.

So as we all emerge from our socially distanced lifestyles, will we seek to re-establish our former lifestyles and relationships, or will we seek to retain and grow our new relationships? Nobody can take any relationship for granted today, and it seems like an obvious time to check “Where are we now?”

From a customers’ perspective – can I still get the products and services I used to get? What has changed about the way we interact with one another? Has your supplier evolved to offer new solutions? Will your relationship ever be like it was before? Will it be better?…

From a businesses’ perspective – how are your customers doing / feeling? How did the pandemic impact your customers and colleagues? Do your customers still need the products and services and delivered in the same way? How would they prefer to interact with you in the future? Have you made changes in the way you will deliver products and services in the future? What will be different for your colleagues? Can you depend on these relationships in the future?…

Whether your relationships are Business to Customer / Consumer, Business to Business or Public Sector to Citizen; all your relationships will benefit from knowing where you stand today, and it also feels right, in all of your valued relationships to just say … “Hello, what have you been up to and how are you…”