Even before the coronavirus pandemic, many brands were scrambling to keep up with the rapidly evolving customer expectations. However, the pandemic turned the scramble into a frenzy, as customer behavior and expectations changed dramatically. Many emerging digital behaviors became mainstream – like online banking, telemedicine, and online grocery shopping. Work from home established itself as the new normal, and it looks like the trend is here to stay. For many brands, this led to multiple battles on numerous fronts. From digitizing multiple customer touchpoints to understanding customer expectations and meeting them mid-way – CX leaders had enough problems to tackle. Those who managed to deliver on these fronts emerged as industry leaders, cultivating a loyal and engaged user base.
In this post, we bring you a summary of the customer experience trends that were ushered in 2020 and will determine the success of your overall brand strategy in times to come.
1. Empower Your Customer Service
A sudden shift to digital also means a greater number of consumers looking to get their customer service issues resolved online. However, companies are already stretched thin for the workforce, and building additional teams to handle an increasing volume of user queries isn’t a viable solution. So what can you do to improve the user experience without increasing costs?
One idea is to invest in an advanced live chat solution integrated with your existing CRM to increase personalization and make the customer service process more streamlined.
With live chat software, each agent can speak with multiple customers at any given time. You can also use canned responses for frequently asked questions to save time and effort. During times of heavy usage, customers can see the wait time to get to an agent, making it easier to manage their expectations.
Modern live chat software also includes video calling and co-browsing options that make it possible to provide technical support remotely. For instance, you can use co-browsing technology to help users troubleshoot by sharing access to their browser, dispensing the need to send a technician over, which is best avoided during COVID times.
You may also consider a customized chatbot for your brand to handle a large percentage of repetitive queries without human intervention. Chatbots help in lead qualification and offer help to your users 24/7, even while your service agents are sleeping. If you’re worried about the mechanical nature of conversations, intelligent chatbots using NLP technology are now able to provide contextual answers to various queries, and having a thorough knowledge-base section further improves the efficacy of your chatbot.
2. Promote Safety and Responsibility At All Times
In today’s times, health and safety are the top priorities for everyone, and people need to feel safe while transacting with a brand. Whether it is data or using masks and ensuring proper social distancing at the workplace, customer trust is paramount to business success. Talking about data, while customers are increasingly looking for highly personalized experiences, they’re also concerned about their data privacy. There are mounting concerns over how organizations collect, store and utilize data. It is, therefore, imperative to strike a balance between data use and personalization and always reassure the customers that their data is not being used or stored inappropriately.
The social impact of a business also matters as people are becoming more conscious of their impact on society and the world. As a result, users are more likely to be loyal to brands that share their social concerns, making them feel safe and responsible at the same time.
For instance, In 2020, when most brands were rooting for more sales, Patagonia continued with its “Demand more, buy less” campaign during the Black Friday sale to draw attention to the environmental impact of the fashion industry and promote conscious buying habits amongst users.
3. Invest in Automation
At a time when remote working and the usage of online collaboration tools are on the rise, it is only fair to adopt Robotic Process Automation wholeheartedly and say goodbye to the tedium of repetitive, labor-intensive jobs. For instance, advanced RPA tools can automate time-consuming yet critical tasks like invoicing, bookkeeping, and data capturing to save time, money and eliminate human error to a great extent.
One such example is JP Morgan Chase & Co’s COIN program that uses a machine-learning program to complete 360,000 hours of finance work in just a few seconds. COIN has also helped JP Morgan reduce the number of loan-servicing mistakes by throwing human error out of the equation.
Through 2020 into 2021, businesses of all kinds will adopt digital at breakneck speeds, slowly merging the boundaries between offline and online. Additionally, they will have to evolve the way they connect with customers. From supporting common causes to rooting for health and safety, brands will have to focus on creating more inclusive and less sales-oriented experiences.
The digital transformation of enterprises is inevitable. But while you architect the digital shift, make sure you keep your customers at the heart of the shift, curating experiences that are consistent, effortless, and meaningful. For instance, by providing seamless service at various customer touchpoints using live chat, you can make your user journey much more enjoyable and convenient. Similarly, sharing your company ethos and values with your targeted audience will help you connect with them in a more meaningful manner. Remember – the future is not just about selling, it is about building deep relationships with your customers, founded in trust, to ensure sustainable growth and loyalty, even during the tough times.
Guest article written by: Srushti Shah is an ambitious, passionate, and out-of-the-box thinking woman having vast Digital Marketing exposure. She is working as a Digital Marketer and Content writer at Acquire. Her key focus is to serve her clients with the latest innovation in her field, leading to fast and effective results. Working beyond expectations and delivering the best possible results is her professional motto. Other than work, she loves traveling, exploring new things, and spending quality time with family. Reach out to Srushti Shah on Twitter or LinkedIn