If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how customer experience has changed to reflect the new normal. Many of the consumer behavioral changes we are seeing today are likely to stay with us for years to come. Moreover, the way consumers interact with businesses has evolved and vice versa – companies are having to rethink their customer experience strategy to go beyond what was conventional pre-Covid. While building a relationship has always been the focal point of customer experience, it’s even more vital during unprecedented times.
The pandemic has influenced several significant customer experience shifts and thriving organizations are rising to meet those needs. Read on to explore how customer experience has changed and how companies are reimagining their entire business to mirror this evolution.
Caring for Your Customers in the New Reality
Customer experience takes on a new meaning during a widespread crisis. It’s common knowledge that when customers have a great experience with your brand or business, they are more likely to turn into a repeat customer and even better, share their experience with others. In fact, 80 percent of consumers say experience is as important as a product or service.
The world is going through a tough time now – your customers included – and they are desperately clinging to businesses that show empathy and support. And if you want to stay above reproach and ahead of the curve, it’s time to level up your customer care tactics. Here are a few ways to do just that:
Communicate. It should go without saying that communication is the foundation for not only building a relationship with your customers but maintaining that relationship as well. Make every effort you can to humanize your company.
Mindfully listen. Understand your customers’ needs and utilize what you learn to deliver a great experience.
Exceed expectations. Go that extra mile with your customers - look for ways to better serve them.
Meet Customers Where They Are With an Omnichannel Approach
In today’s rapidly growing digital world, customers rely heavily on have multiple touchpoints with a business during their customer journey. And as you can probably guess, having multiple outreach channels is the number one tactic that closes a deal. But crafting an omnichannel strategy is about more than blasting the same message across multiple channels – email, text, snail mail – it’s about shaping that message utilizing data that’s already at your fingertips.
Many companies recognize the need to adopt an omnichannel approach but lack the knowledge on how to implement a successful strategy. Here are a few tips that can help serve your customers better and ultimately, boost customer retention:
Meet your customers where they are. Your customers’ normal daily routines have been upended. And due to the fact that many are remaining socially distant, it’s of the utmost importance to provide digital touchpoints that can help them navigate the pandemic effectively.
Remove channel silos. Being available on multiple channels fosters loyalty amongst your customer base. Every interaction should be noted. The fastest way to disengage a customer is by putting them through an ongoing loop of repeating their needs to every support specialist they encounter.
Invest in the right technology. You can only get so far in an omnichannel approach with subpar technology (or lack thereof). Organizations need to be able to analyze and monitor data from every channel to ensure that every employee that oversees some part of the customer journey has the correct information.
Consider this when pondering an omnichannel approach: 95 percent of customers use at least three channels in a single interaction with a company, according to research firm Forrester.
Rethink How You Leverage Technology - How Customer Experience Has Changed
Many technological advances were accelerated by the pandemic – remote work being the tip of the iceberg. In fact, technology has transformed consumer habits and altered customer expectations in such a radical way. And because technology consumes much of the customer journey, businesses are now having to adopt a ‘digital first’ mindset. A recent Harvard Business Review showed that 40 percent of respondents say they are excited about the shift to digital as it creates new opportunities to create better relationships with customers.
As your customers’ needs unfold, so should your technology – it’s the biggest driving force behind the customer experience revolution. If you want to continue to meet customer expectations through the use of technology, take note of these tips to propel your customer experience strategy forward:
Automate what you can. Automation eliminates human error and streamlines processes that take away time from value-added tasks. One of the biggest ways to combat customer experience pain points is by providing instant support through the use of chatbots.
Capture valuable feedback. Your customers are the driving force behind your business. If you want real insight on what your customers truly think about your brand, scour your social media sites and even your website.
The Future of Customer Experience
If your organization is going to flourish in the age of upheaval, cultivating a culture where customer experience rules the roost is quintessential. And as we near the end of the year and into the new one, we need to realize that there will be no ‘return to normal’. In fact, it’s time to invest in the ‘new normal’ – an era lead by the consumers instead of the brands. And with the way the world is continuously evolving, companies need to be able to adapt to the constantly increasing customer expectations. As your strategy changes, so do the operational needs of your business. Working closely with a virtual accounting support provider can help businesses safeguard their customer experience strategy execution. Here at Personiv, we know how to navigate through uncertain changes – and we can help you pilot to the other side.
If you’re wondering how you can implement a customer experience strategy that sells (even during a pandemic), get in touch with our experts.
In the meantime, read our latest article on how to reimagine company culture as a virtual employer, Embracing The Future Of Work: Reimagining Company Culture As A Virtual Employer.