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Covid-19 has changed consumer behavior around the world. New attitudes and values have emerged. The flight to digital has forced companies to be more adaptive, to drive technical innovation as rapidly as they can, and to get closer to their customers.

Crises have a habit of bringing the future forward and catalyzing several macro trends to spark a fundamental market shift. Covid-19 is a compelling incentive for organizations to accelerate their drive to get to the future first, to embark on the digital transformation of their organizations, and to become more agile, responsive and connected.

Covid-19 has led customers to become increasingly digital, display unfamiliar patterns of demand and develop specific physical needs driven by social distancing.

We have seen many firms reacting, in the short term, to establish their integrity, striving to act in the best interests of their customers, doing the ‘right thing’ regardless of profit impact, showing care for their employees and their customers.

For most companies, however, this can be a prelude to seismic disruption. Existing trends have been accelerated and new ones introduced. Customers can feel more vulnerable and less in control than before. Values have evolved, with renewed demands that brands put integrity and purpose before profit. The basis for many customer decisions may have shifted.

In the UAE market, from our research and interaction with our clients, we see organizations increasingly characterized by innovation and driven by the desire to be world leading across every function. Implementation of new technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can enable experiences that are highly personalized, frictionless and easy to navigate. The rapid pace of change increasingly requires organizations to be digitally connected end-to-end, to consistently innovate, and develop a more iterative “learn by doing” approach.

We explore three important themes:

  • The New Customer: How have customers changed? 
  • The Six Pillar experience: What are the qualities needed to deliver excellence, create loyalty and drive growth – and remain relevant?
  • The Connected Enterprise: How should CEOs transform their enterprises to compete for this New Customer?

For organizations able to navigate these challenges, there are likely opportunities to accelerate economic recovery, lock in long-term cost savings and create enormous value, for both shareholders and society.

Head of Experience Design & Innovation

KPMG Lower Gulf

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