Bengaluru, October 29: A new report has revealed that about 71 percent of Indians expect companies to accelerate digital initiatives which means that the customer engagement is changing amid the COVID-19 crises. A report by leading Cloud software company Salesforce said that the Indian customers estimate 60 percent of their interactions with businesses take place online this year, compared to 47 percent in 2019. According to the fourth edition of Salesforce's ‘State of the Connected Customer’ report, about 94 percent of customers said how a company acts during a crisis demonstrates its trustworthiness.

The global report is based on insights from over 15,000 consumers and business buyers across 27 countries, including 650 respondents from India. In India, 94 percent of customers said that COVID-19 has elevated their expectation of digital capabilities and 95 percent said the societal role of companies is changing.

The report adds that while a string of crises has affected all facets of life, including a fundamental shift in how customers connect with brands, factors like empathy, personalisation, convenience, and digital transformation are the keys to customer relationships. According to a report by IANS, as these same customers re-evaluate the role of business in society, the notion of stakeholder capitalism is increasingly factored into purchase decisions. Vala Afshar, Chief Digital Evangelist at Salesforce, said in a statement said that regardless of who they market, sell, or provide service to, businesses are navigating a landscape they couldn't have imagined at the beginning of this year. "A massive shift to digital channels isn't the only challenge that leaders have to grapple with”, he said.

“Connecting customers at various touchpoints -- digital, human, or other -- to gain a holistic understanding is the first step on the path to resiliency and growth. They also need to listen and respond to customer demands for empathy and understanding, innovative products and services, and a fundamental rethinking of the role of business in society," Afshar said.