The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted daily lives of consumers and organisations in every corner of the world. The spread of the virus has been alarming and, in an effort to reduce the spread, there are important social-distancing measures that are subtly separating businesses and their customers. Indeed, the presence of COVID-19 in Nigeria, along with movement restrictions and other measures to curb the spread of the new virus, have caused sudden changes in the behaviours of businesses and their customers.
We observed that consumers are patronising food and other essential products such as hygiene products more than other product categories. This is not surprising. As one customer puts it: “These days of self-isolation and quarantining is not a time to show-off; I am not buying clothes and make-ups for now”. This behaviour will become even more common if more customers become homebound. On the other hand, we also observed that retailers have been increasing the prices of food and other essential products, making it difficult and in some cases, impossible for people to afford their basic needs.
- Surviving a challenging time such as this requires that everyone and every organisation make a contribution and we will do our part as follows:
- Slowing the Spread of COVID-19: We are maintaining the health and safety of members of the FeedbackHall Community by constantly reminding and encouraging them to adhere to all social distancing measures as well as hand and respiratory hygiene as advised by World Health Organisation (WHO). Similarly, we have advised majority of our employees to work from home during this period. management staff are allowed into the research centre once in a week. These staff are required to wash their hands regularly with water and soap, sanitise their hands and follow social distancing guidelines.
- Ensuring that businesses and customers remain connected: We know that many organisations are making rapid changes due to the pandemic. Some are offering new products and some are transitioning to online service models and would need to communicate these changes to their customers. To support them and their customers, we’ll waive advertising fees for small local businesses to enable them make important announcements and advertise their products. This will help consumers get product information and find products they may need more easily. We’ll continue to create new ways to help customers and businesses stay connected.
- We would continually encourage businesses to remain customer-focussed and honour the loyalty of their customers. We’ll remind businesses that this unprecedented situation is an opportunity for them to practically show their commitment to their customers
- Gather consumer intelligence to support decision making: We will help businesses who need consumer intelligence to take critical decisions to gather data from members of the FeedbackHall community Free. FeedbackHall has over 5,000 registered members who are located in various states across Nigeria and the FCT.
- Ensuring Trusted Contents: We’ve retrained our compliance team to implement special consumer feedback guidelines related to COVID-19 to protect businesses from unnecessary reputational harm. For example, feedback in which a customer claims that he or she contracted COVID-19 from a company’s business environment, employees or product will not be tolerated. Our compliance team will ensure that users comply with our policies. Contents that do not comply will be removed immediately. We urge our users to continue to give constructive feedback.
Finally, our thoughts go out to everyone and every organisation that have been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus. We urge everyone to stay safe and take precautions advised by WHO.