Customer Experience News & Trends

How to keep the customer experience exceptional through COVID-19

Your customer experience may be different through the coronavirus pandemic, but it doesn’t have to be worse. Here’s help to sustain a great experience for your customers. 

Here are four tactics to start now and enhance beyond COVID-19.

1. Double down on digital

Customers are more inclined than ever to pursue help from digital channels – and once they’re used to it, they’ll likely want more going forward.

“Design common customer journeys with a digital-first mindset,” says Anand Subramaniam, SVP Global Marketing, eGain Corporation.

Keep experiences fluid. For instance, if a customer deals with a chatbot on a bank’s website and the issue needs to be escalated to involve a human, the bank maintains a system that keeps the context from the chatbot intact. Even better, the bank adds video chat and co-browsing capabilities with customer service pros, who can work through the website, forms and transactions with customers.

In a different example, more health care professionals have added chatbots to get initial information before patients move to video chat with their provider.

Work with your vendors to amp up digital. More importantly, train service pros to keep the experience across digital platforms seamless.

2. Leverage the gig economy

Many customer experience leaders need to fill gaps because demand has spiked, and employees can’t work due to the illness, fear of it, or responsibilities outside of work because of it. Look to the gig economy for fill-ins.

“Once you hire them, you need to on-board and train them, a tough ask since remote on-boarding and training is much harder for both the business and the employee,” Subramaniam says.

But it’s possible. Try a different kind of training and technology – Subramaniam suggests conversational guidance with AI and knowledge after initial training. It can guide them through customer conversations, telling them what to say and do next.

3. Get proactive

Yes, your incoming demand will likely continue to be high, but you can simmer it some with more proactive notifications.

Send updates, changes and information useful to your customers’ safety through several channels as often as weekly. You can add daily updates to social channels. Send information on emergencies immediately and across all possible channels – phone, social, email, text.

4. Regroup

You can improve your everyday operations and keep employees safe – and especially crisis management operations – by reviewing what’s being done at least weekly, preferably daily, throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

Pull together a team of front-line service pros, their direct supervisors and management to review:

  • What changed today?
  • What did we do to adapt to the change?
  • What stayed the same, and was our response still appropriate?
  • What went well?
  • Where did we struggle?
  • What were we ahead of?
  • What elements of our response and reactions should be preserved for future crisis management?

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