The vital role of CX during a pandemic

Customer experience (CX) has become integral to the survival of businesses across the globe during COVID-19. Sreelesh Pillai shares his tips for how to boost customer experience and form genuine, lasting relationships with consumers.

Good customer experience leaves people feeling heard and appreciated. It minimises friction, maximises efficiency and maintains the human touch. In fact, research from PwC found that the payoffs for valued, great experiences are tangible: up to a 16 percent price premium on products and services, plus increased loyalty. The same research also found that customers said that they were more likely to try additional services or products from brands that provided superior customer experience. This becomes even more prevalent during a pandemic as customers are relying on brands that they trust to help them navigate this turbulent period.

Making sure all customer communication is being conducted with transparency, compassion and attentiveness is a very crucial first step. Once this has been nailed, delivering personalised, relevant content and offerings becomes vital to helping customers find what they need, when they need it.

Selecting the right tools for you

Today’s customers need the speed and efficiency of automated engagement but also crave the warming touch of human empathy and emotional connection. Real-time chat offers immediate and personalised responses and is an effective solution for retailers and brands looking to deliver a personalised experience at scale and secure long term customer loyalty. In fact, the chatbot market is expected to grow from $2.6 billion in 2019 to $9.4 billion by 2024 at an annual growth rate of almost 30 percent.

During this pandemic, we’ve witnessed an increase in demand for such technology, with businesses experiencing an influx in customer communication and call centres having to transition to remote working environments. In line with this demand, we recently partnered with Slack to enable the integration of the application within our customer support and engagement software, Freshdesk. The integration with Slack helps businesses address the surge in incoming ticket volume by providing a way for agents to respond and resolve inquiries quickly.

When it comes to selecting the technology tools that can make a real impact to CX during a pandemic, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and choose the first available option. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right tool for you. Make sure you’re spending time digging into the capabilities and ensuring it’s something that will benefit customers not just today, but for the long run.

Predicting the unpredictable

Although no one can foresee the future, there are ways businesses can ensure they’re making decisions based on their future and not just for the short term. Often, customer support models can be disjointed with multiple teams dealing with one shopper’s query. This can often lead to miscommunication and disconnect, ultimately ending in a negative customer experience and increased frustration for all involved.

With more of us working from home, finding tools that enable collaboration between remote teams is integral, both internally and externally. On top of this, ensuring key elements for customers, such as websites and chat portals, are updated regularly becomes key. Instead of steering the car, think more about creating the simplest, smoothest and least problematic route to your customer’s destination.

Ultimately, excellent customer engagement is the key which unlocks brand loyalty and trust. During these challenging times, consumers desperately need businesses they can rely on to support them, and their families, through this period of uncertainty. Ramping up customer engagement efforts has become critical but by investing in the right tools and team, you can get one step closer to helping more of the people who need it.

Sreelesh Pillai is the general manager of Freshworks Australia.

Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash.