Customer Engagement in the Post-Covid world

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Customer Engagement in the Post-Covid world Customer Experience
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Introduction

In this Post Covid world, the business industry is thrown upside-down with all the changing customer demand and market trends. While some industry has fallen in ranks, some businesses enjoyed a booming business thanks to the new trends. 

The world is changing fast, and customers expect you to keep up. The crisis has redefined customer behavior and action. The Covid era is a catalyst that has led every business to redefine its business operations. 

All these changes have also made an impact on customer engagement & the Company leaders are wondering how to create a future-proof business. The growing expectations and shifts in customers interaction have accelerated a company’s need to adapt to the new standard of customer engagement.

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How can you deliver on Customer Engagement in this post- COVID era?

As we know, customers expect more from the company, which has caused a shift in their volume of interaction and transactions. To succeed in this heavily competitive landscape, companies must consider engaging customers in ways that build valuable & profitable relationships. 

  • 2/3rd of companies are now competing on the grounds of customer experience. 
  • 96% of customers claim that customer service is a factor that influences their purchase decision. 
  • 32% of purchases are done online. (Accenture

While some customer trends may go away, most of these new expectations are here for a longer period.

Embrace the new era of customer engagement

Adapt to the digital channels

Customer Engagement in the Post-Covid world Customer Experience

Every customer is now expecting digital interaction from companies. Digital channels have become the standard for better customer engagement. 

The rapid shift to virtual and digital engagement shows that online purchase/ digital interaction is no longer a short-term trend meaning critical customer engagements and interactions will evolve.

Brands must engage customers seamlessly across multiple digital channels to ensure a flawless customer journey. Meet them in the channel of their preference. 

Brands should reinvent new ways of enhancing customer engagement giving them the freedom of contacting the company via their preferred channel.  

To deliver value and improve customer engagement digitally, you can

  • Leverage an omnichannel platform that unifies customer communication across various digital channels.
  • Use customer footprint to anticipate their needs and personalize recommendations at the ideal time. 
  • Ramp up on online and digital interactions. Innovate how you can deliver your product/services online.  

At this moment of crisis, it is ideal for companies to focus on reinforcing customers’ trust and the organization’s value alongside its products & services.

Human interaction & empathy:

Customer Engagement in the Post-Covid world Customer Experience

In digital engagement let’s not forget that some people will need to listen to empathetic human voices. 

83% of consumers reported preferring interaction with another human instead of using digital channels or technology.

There are multiple reasons why customers may want human interaction when they reach out to a company. 

  • There are customers for whom digitization means less, such as less tech-savvy or who don’t have access to digital channels. 
  • Human interaction is also essential to resolve complex and escalated tasks. 

Human interaction plays a crucial role in keeping the customers engaged and informed in these cases.  76% of customers prefer to contact customer service via phone.  More than 27% of callers who speak with an agent are more satisfied than when an IVR greets.

Human interaction & empathy remain the core of delivering a memorable customer experience and the root of better customer engagement. 

Listen to customer sentiment:

Customer Engagement in the Post-Covid world Customer Experience

Post-covid is an era full of uncertainty, especially for customers. It is more important than ever to listen to customer sentiment & understand the drivers of their behavior. 

Leverage Voice of Customer (VoC) or surveys (CSAT, CX, or NPS) to listen to what customers feel about your brand & their experience.

Monitor customer conversation with frontline employees to identify changes in customer sentiment and their concerns. 

Brands must remain transparent & honest about what they can deliver without overselling expectations to protect customer relationships and enhance customer engagement.  

Overcome surge in customer inquiries:

Customer Engagement in the Post-Covid world Customer Experience

There has been a rise in demand for customer service as customers are struggling in this new situation and are asking for help. Various business verticals are dealing with the increasing volume of customer queries. 

Finding a balance in customer service operations can ease managing a large volume of customer calls. The future of customer service is a hybrid solution – automation & human agents. 

You can enhance customer engagement with IVR, automated call routing, self-service, automated emails, chatbots to empower customers to solve their issues.

On the other hand, you can offer interaction with human agents for queries that are complex and of high importance.

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Automation in customer service:

Customer Engagement in the Post-Covid world Customer Experience

Automation is an excellent addition to customer support. Not only does a well-implemented automation strategy can increase efficiency, decrease repetitive tasks, and promote productivity. But it also empowers customers to resolve their issues and saves their time waiting for their calls to connect. 

Automation plays a critical role in customer engagement in ways that enhance customer experience. 

  • Automation enables customer service agents to focus on resolving complex issues & customer interaction by freeing them from tedious and repetitive tasks.
  • McKinsey reports that businesses using automation to optimize CX save up to 20 – 40% in service costs.
  • Automated customer service provides 24 X 7 support without time zone or public holidays constraints.
  • Automation can resolve customer issues faster, thus stopping escalation and lowering customer abandonment rates.

Redesign customer engagement workspace:

Customer Engagement in the Post-Covid world Customer Experience

Your employees have a more significant impact on customer engagement. It is important to adapt employee workspace to a work-from-home model during this crisis without compromising customer experience quality. 

With the work-from-home culture, most organizations had to shift their operating model to a virtual workplace. Banks, governments, and more had to adapt to the shift and overcome infrastructure and security barriers to shift their agents to remote work. 

Embracing the right software can help you empower the employees with the freedom to work from anywhere in the world. 

60% of employees say they want flexibility in terms of where & when they work. As per Accenture, 46% of employees who previously never worked from home are planning to work from home in the future. This is the new standard for businesses operating in the pandemic world.

Adopting an AI-driven platform:

Customer Engagement in the Post-Covid world Customer Experience

Employees need access to intelligent analytics to engage customers more personalized. The AI-drive platform empowers agents to anticipate changes in customer behavior and tailor recommendations & services to their needs. 

Moreover, customers who received AI-powered recommendations keep coming back after their first visit. 37% of customers who clicked a customized recommendation during their first visit returned, in contrast to only 19% of customers who didn’t click a recommendation.

The AI-driven platform also empowers employees by offering guidance on the next-best-action. Teams can determine the efficacy of customer engagement strategy to determine the probability of success. 

The AI-driven platform uses a machine learning model to help you improve your system. It identifies the opportunity to improve and helps you with a strategic recommendation to help you improve customer engagement.

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Redefine & revive customer engagement strategy

There have been drastic shifts in customer behavior due to COVID. Company leaders need to reinvent their customer engagement strategies & focus more on delivering exceptional customer experience. 

There are trends here for the short-term & trends that are here to stay. So, there might be aspects of your customer engagement strategies that delivered value a few weeks ago but now not so much. 

You must remain agile & flexible in your operations in the face of this crisis. Review your current customer engagement strategies & identify opportunities for improvement. Pause the strategy which may not be effective any longer & rethink them. Ultimately, aim for clarity in your business operation.

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Hindol Basu 
GM, Voxco Intelligence

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