Tumultuous Economy Challenges on Companies’ Consumer Relations

by Jonathan Shroyer

A potential worldwide recession may be on the horizon. Additionally, buyer priorities are changing in customer services and the overall customer experience.

How will a tumultuous economic period such as this one impact the customer service industries as a whole?

As we see the pandemic period ending and a potential worldwide recession on the horizon, we are starting to see buyer priorities changing for customer services and experience. The headwinds in front of companies are causing them to focus more on optimization of their business and more acutely investing in future services revenue plays. Some companies will overcorrect on optimization and lose a good number of their customers due to a poor service experience. The pragmatic and astute companies will balance optimization, customer churn risk, and acute investments to drive growth.

Essentially what this means is that buyers have choices and they will start to make choices with their wallet based on the experience they get, especially as many of the companies and services today are so similar. Additionally, buyers will decrease the amount of loose money they have to spend on items of entertainment and want versus items of need and survival. Based on this, services become an even more compelling differentiator at ensuring buyers stay happy and don’t leave brands.

The interesting juxtaposition to the above is that sellers are looking to optimize. Companies focus more on optimization of their business and more acutely investing in future services revenue plays. Macro-economic trends are leading to micro economic buying and business optimization decisions.

It’s very important to be strategic, pragmatic and intentional in these moments.

It’s easy to make decisions based on fear or anxiety. Often, I see leaders try to count and hold on to every penny of revenue. This is a strategic blunder. While they may feel like they are in control, they are not. They are simply accidentally moving to an anti-growth, anti-customer approach that is counter people culture and counter to the higher purpose their company has.

My advice is to not jump over dimes of immense value to get to pennies of short-term savings. In the long-term, leaders, their team, their customer value and their company’s purpose and culture will all be undermined.

Instead, I would play the long game of Customer Success and optimize where essential, invest acutely toward strategy plans, and pivot to differentiate in the market.

And then, leaders should stay keenly focused on their core values and their people. This will help businesses weather any storm.

Business leaders need to keep in mind that customers are the heart of their company and people are its lifeblood.  

Jonathan Shroyer is the chief CX innovation officer at Arise Virtual Solutions, where he leads the gaming and consulting verticals and runs the CX Lab in San Francisco. CIO Journal, a publication of The Wall Street Journal, named Shroyer among its “Top CX Professionals of 2022.” He has more than 20 years of experience building companies and building up leaders as a customer experience executive. He worked to develop Officium Labs back in 2019, which was acquired by Arise Virtual Solutions in 2021.

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