COVID-19 Daily Summary – March 24, 2020: Treat Your Customers Well

Author(s): Carmi Levy

Customer experience (still and always) matters

As much as the COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting regular business operations, pushing governments to the brink, and decimating financial markets, the fact remains that consumers still expect the businesses they engage with to deliver the goods. Global crisis notwithstanding, you simply can’t afford to fall short in the eyes of your customers, especially now.

Our blueprint, Adapt Your Customer Experience Strategy to Successfully Weather COVID-19, contains everything necessary to adapt your strategy for customer experience management (CXM) during this period of crisis. It walks you through the process of assessing COVID-19-specific risks to your CXM approach, including how it’ll impact your marketing, sales, and customer service functions.

Use it to build an action plan to mitigate the COVID-19 threat, protect your revenue, maintain consistent product and service delivery, and improve the integrity of your brand.

Continue to visit our COVID-19 Resource Center, where we’ll be publishing our latest research designed to help you not only survive the COVID-19 pandemic but achieve competitive advantage.

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Wherever you are within your COVID-19 response, don’t miss your opportunity to spend time, live, with an analyst. We’ll answer every question you have and work directly with you to put your plans into action. Connect with us now to schedule your call.

Today’s theme: Partnership

Beyond these technical solutions, we’ll need diplomatic efforts to drive international collaboration and data sharing. Developing antivirals and vaccines involves massive clinical trials and licensing agreements that would cross national borders.
– Bill Gates, “Responding to Covid-19 — A Once-in-a-Century Pandemic?”

Recent milestones

  • Olympics postponed. International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agree to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games until no later than the summer of 2021. The move comes after a growing list of countries, kicked off by Canada and Australia, said they would not send their athletes if the Games were held as originally scheduled. The Paralympics will also be delayed. While the Olympics have been cancelled previously, in 1916, 1940, and 1944, this marks the first postponement not due to war.
  • Lockdowns go global. As India goes into a 21-day national lockdown, CNN calculates approximately 2.5 billion people – or one-third of the world’s population – are now subject to curfew, partial or total lockdown, or some sort of restrictions on their movement. A number of jurisdictions announce restrictions beyond the originally announced two- and three-week periods as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley suggests models show the crisis in the US beginning to ease between late May and July.
  • China begins to ease restrictions. The province of Hubei finalizes plans to lift most lockdown restrictions as of Wednesday. The capital city of Wuhan, ground zero of the global epidemic, will remain under shelter-in-place orders until April 8.
  • US government nears a deal. American, European, and Asian stock markets rebound amid news US lawmakers are close to a deal on a massive fiscal stimulus package.
  • WHO launches an app. The World Health Organization’s WhatsApp chatbot, designed to provide updated information on the pandemic, goes live. The app, available on the Facebook-owned platform, provides updates on current infection rates, information on how to protect against infection, and answers to frequently asked questions.
  • Key takeaway: The original timelines established for business shutdowns and self-isolation are no longer adequate. Governments are extending shelter-in-place orders and tightening freedom-of-movement restrictions. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and organizations must plan for extended operations in pandemic mode.

Virus 101: The race is on, Part 2 – Vaccines

  • Though drugs can be an effective treatment for patients who have already contracted deadly pathogens, vaccines remain one of the most important public health weapons against infectious diseases.
  • When successful, vaccines provide long-term immunity in individuals, preventing them from getting infected. As more individuals get vaccinated and become immune, this collective immunity prevents outbreaks of infectious diseases from occurring in communities of people.
  • Vaccines work by ultimately “presenting” some piece (termed “antigen”) of the pathogen (a virus, in the case of COVID-19) to the body’s immune system, which triggers an immune response and culminates in antibody production. These antibodies are long-lived and can neutralize the real virus when the body is exposed to it in the future.
  • Big names in the pharmaceutical industry as well as biotech and research institutes around the globe are in a race to develop the first successful vaccine that’s safe and effective against the COVID-19 virus. These include household names Pfizer, in partnership with BioNTech; Sanofi; Johnson & Johnson, in partnership with the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA); and biotech company Moderna, among others.
  • Even so, vaccines cost a lot of money and require a lot of time to develop and test in clinical trials. Optimistic estimates from experts suggest that the earliest successful vaccine for COVID-19 probably won’t be available to the general public for another 12 to 18 months.
  • Bottom line: Vaccines are the most effective solutions against infectious diseases but cost a lot of money and can take 12 to 18 months before general public use. The global race is on to develop the first successful COVID-19 vaccine.

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