Face masks, vaccination passports, and social distancing : not so long ago these words meant nothing to us. Today they’ve become normal: The New Normal. And all political and economic players are trying to figure out how it happened and what it means.

Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on our lives will continue long after we’re all vaccinated and the virus is vanquished. And nothing will be as before.

Companies need to rebuild confidence now by acting quickly and pertinently to meet both new needs and existing needs that have become more urgent, such as ensuring health care. This is the only way to inspire trust in your customers and remain a valuable partner in challenging times.

Innovation, inspired by empathy towards consumers, is at the heart of everything.

That’s why in the New Normal it’s important to really understand and anticipate consumers’ needs and to respond with services even more personalised than before.

New feelings, new behaviors, new needs

There has never been such a premium placed on confidence. People worldwide are turning to companies they can trust with their health, financial situation, and cyber security.

The AXA Future Risks Report shows that health issues are among the top five threats consumers feel the most vulnerable to. In fact, people even consider health and computer-related issues to be on top of their mind.

Despite these concerns, consumers remain extremely open to new digital experiences.

This openness carries over to the travel sector. People are starting to travel, but they have new expectations. They like using technology of course, but they also appreciate help in person when they need it. Their concerns include avoiding crowded destinations, checking health measures in hotels, and trying to avoid cancellations and other disruptions to their travel plans.

How to stay a relevant company that contributes to peace of mind

Resilience and flexibility: These have become key words in everyday servicing and value propositioning. You can help your customers tackle the unexpected, on vacation and at home, whether it concerns health or other issues, and create strong touch points. By inspiring trust and safety, you can enhance customer loyalty.

We've identified six new consumer profiles that emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Staycationers
They prefer not to leave home unless it’s really necessary, so they have put vacation travel on hold and will vacation home. That’s understandable: health concerns have become top of mind for many people. The AXA Partners' Customer Survey on « Travel in the New Normal » shows that 33% of French customers prefer to stay at home, against 13% before Covid. But what happens when they need to consult a doctor? That’s where our remote medical assistance comes in. Through video chats and teleconsultations with licensed and experienced doctors, the Staycationers can receive the medical assistance they need 24/7.

The Budget Watchdogs
They have always watched their finances, but today that’s become even more important as they face possible income losses from illness or unexpected unemployment. So they want to take steps to ensure they can maintain their standard of living. This means knowing that their mortgage, auto and personal loan obligations will be met in case of income loss due to unemployment, illness, or an accident.In addition to loan protection, we offer a 100% secured smart solution that provides income protection insurance in just five minutes. This e-commerce tool, developed with a top credit card company in Germany, gives subscribers some much-needed breathing room from their financial worries.

The Self-employed
Working as an entrepreneur or consultant is challenging in the best of times. With scarce free time, a doctor’s appointment, organizing childcare, or even shopping can be stressful.  The self-employed need solutions that make their busy lives more convenient and safe from Covid-19 health concerns. How can you meet this challenge? One answer is E-Wallet, a tailored, easy to access digital card stored on a smartphone that guides users to the right services and assistance, at home and abroad. Whatever their needs, your customers will find a solution to ease the stress of daily life.

The Solo Traveller
It takes more than a pandemic to keep people in this category from exploring new territories on their own. Many are even drawn to remote places where they relish in the solitude and quiet. But there are drawbacks to this kind of adventure. What happens when you contract Covid-19 far from home? The local health infrastructure may be woefully inadequate to handle severe respiratory problems. Thanks to our Medical Assistance offer, best-in-class medical care is available anytime, anywhere.And that includes help to recover and return home, for complete peace of mind.

The Business Traveler
Business must go on – despite the health crisis. This raises important Duty of Care issues for companies to inform, support, and protect their employees when they travel. Our Corporate Mobility offer provides help for travelers before, during, and after a business trip. When there’s a need for urgent medical assistance while traveling, our Medical Provider Search easily orients travelers to vetted healthcare providers worldwide. If the employee stays in an Accor accommodation, he can use #AllSafe, a“DigiCal” solution for guests of the Accor hotel chain that offers healthcare by phone or face-to-face appointments.

The “Workationers”
Why not combine business and pleasure? That’s the motto of people who decide to take their home office to a completely new environment where they can admire the scenery, go for a hike, or take a swim in between Zoom meetings. We offer a number of solutions specifically designed for Workationers, such as Digital Protection, which protects your customers’ data, integrity and identity.

Innovation is key

Our new motto : « Fail Fast or Scale Fast! »

Because customer needs are shifting, it’s become more important than ever to innovate and co-create quickly truly relevant solutions. Our new motto reflects this by referring to “open innovation”, an approach best described by Inji Charkani, our Chief Innovation Officer: « Conducting an Open Innovation approach implies setting a team composed of mixed expertise, involving an external partner (i.e. startup), and adopting a fast track methodology with a clear timeline (less than a year). We involve genuine customers in the testing phase. They help us calibrate the solution especially when technologies like conversational AI are used.”

A great opportunity

These are challenging times, for sure. The new buyer profiles we’ve identified will continue to evolve in the « New Normal. » But whatever shape their shifting needs to take, we will have the necessary value propositions. It’s a great opportunity to innovate and to enhance customer loyalty.