The pandemic has created big challenges for the customer-facing teams, especially due to lack of enterprise tools.
CMOs say that customer call volumes have increased drastically in the pandemic situation. Customer support teams have been doing their best to provide the best customer experience through remote workstations. However, due to the lack of conventional resources and technology, they are finding it difficult to provide the highest quality services.
Marketing leaders acknowledge that while the average wait time has increased, customer interaction value has reduced mainly due to discount requests, payment deferrals, cancelation of products and services, and also due to an overall reduction in customer spending.
CMOs are working to find efficient ways to decrease the cost-to-serve budget for customers, yet maintain the highest levels of customer engagement and employee satisfaction. They point out that clients will keep in mind the brands that came through in the times of difficulty and the ones that didn’t. This will help to build a solid loyal customer base.
Four cardinal marketing strategies need to be tweaked to be relevant to the current scenario
Ensure 24/7 customer support, digital messaging platforms and self-support tools
Marketing leaders point out that due to the lockdown, the concept of time has become blurry and clients tend to reach out at all times of day and night. Customer support teams need to adapt to the 24/7 requirements and come up with solutions to prevent employee burnout.
Organizations have deployed automation and AI-powered chatbots to take care of routine customer queries, which save time and effort for employees. CMOs are looking into the world of 24/7 intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) and self-service tools as possible solutions. Such tools can be manipulated to understand the client’s individual history and journey, which will be useful to provide relevant answers in a way similar to a live employee.
Service teams should work together for better customer engagement
CMOs say that the toughest and most complex client queries can be solved if service agents work in collaboration. The current unforeseen scenario has support employees working in unchartered territories. While customer support teams are working from remote locations, it doesn’t mean they have to work alone. Digital collaboration tools are the need of the hour and will help bridge the gaps in the creation and distribution of internal knowledge documents, automation of coaching plans, and internal support for employees whenever they require it.
Automation tools to free up employees’ time
Marketing leaders are considering Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools as they have proven to be efficient in reducing the time required for manual tasks. RPA helps to save time and effort for the employees, and also ensures better accuracy while speeding up the processing time. Employees are thus free to do important tasks like connect with clients and ensure a good experience with a personal touch.
Shifting to preemptive strategies to predict the client needs
Client retention is critical for an organization now. CMOs point out that due to the critical situation of layoffs and sizing down, clients are opting to cancel their services with third-party vendors. The cost of getting a new client is considerably higher than retaining an old client. Marketing leaders’ advice that organizations need to spread a message of goodwill by foreseeing the possibility of a client’s inability to pay and possibly either waiving of the bills or reducing it for a certain time.
CMOs say that as a proactive measure organizations should reach out to clients and inform replacement of funds, penalties and fees has been done as a one-time favor. Such interactions avoid negative conversations and boost the trust in an organization for the client; it guarantees an excellent customer experience and engagement.