6 Ways COVID-19 Changes Customer Experience Forever

As New Zealand reopens in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s not clear what the overall impact of the virus will be. There are a few signs of change here and there. An uptick of contactless payments and Prime Minister Ardern's suggestion to move to a four-day workweek are two examples. However, there’s one area that’s been clearly impacted: the customer experience.

COVID-19 has changed the customer experience, adding new importance to CX management. Learn how it’s changed and how you can improve it in the New Normal.

How Has COVID-19 the Customer Experience?

There are six ways that COVID-19 has changed the customer experience:

  • Companies must gain customer trust
  • Customers demand a better digital experience
  • Analytics boost CX management
  • Flexible, remote work will be the new normal
  • Security is a priority
  • Virtual experiences will still need the human touch

Companies Must Gain Customer Trust

One thing hasn’t changed: if you want people to do business with you, they have to trust you. What has changed is the perception of who and what is trustworthy.

We’re in an era of fake news. People are skeptical about announcements coming from governments and international organisations – is this news reliable, or will it later be disproven?

Improving Customer Trust in the New Normal

Now is the time that brands must focus on building customer trust. Companies that aren’t trustworthy raise suspicion. In the age of social sharing, reputations can quickly be tarnished.

What steps can you take to build trust?

  • Be proactive about communicating
  • Stay true to your mission
  • Be honest

Customers Demand a Better Digital Experience

Having a website today isn’t good enough. When customers need to order online or communicate with your firm because your office is closed, the experience can’t be disappointing or headache-inducing. 

Your customers do not want to spend 20 minutes picking out a product, only to find out it’s out of stock. Nor do they want to wait on hold for another 20 minutes because your call centre is overwhelmed.

Enhancing Digital Experiences in the New Normal

The digital experience your firm offers will now be your calling card. What can you do to enhance your customer’s digital experience?

  • Personalisation – target your offers to customers, and make sure you don’t waste their time by asking for extra information (if they’ve already signed up for your newsletter, don’t show that window the next time they come to your site)
  • Streamline the purchasing process, so it’s the same across every channel
  • Seamless ease of use – every aspect of your digital experience should flow, from consuming content to checking out

Analytics Boost CX Management

Every time your customer interacts with one of your digital properties, he or she is trying to tell you something. An abandoned cart means the purchase process is frustrating, while a "like" on social media means your post resonated.

However, you can only understand what your customers want if you’re listening to them. That’s where analytics come in.

Boosting Your Analytics Capabilities in the New Normal

You may already have an analytics solution in place. Yet, analytics can be even more effective in combination with AI.

AI can analyse large amounts of information faster. Additionally, it can predict what actions a person might take next, then suggest products or services the customer would want. In a time where the customer experience is one of the most valuable things you can offer, predictive analytics is a powerful tool.


Flexible, Remote Work Will Be the New Normal

It might seem like flexible, remote work isn’t connected to the customer experience or CX management, but there’s a link. If employees can only work from an office, yet they can’t access that office during a crisis, they can’t deliver a positive customer experience.

To continue delivering positive customer experiences, companies will have to rethink office-centricity. They’ll need to develop flexible, remote working arrangements so employees can still get work done, wherever they are.


Enabling Flexible, Remote Work in the New Normal

For employees to work remotely in a way that’s effective and efficient, they need the right tools.

Tools that enable effortless collaboration allow people to speak on the phone, teleconference, and video chat, within the same platform. They can also easily share documents and access trusted information for better decision making.

Security Is a Priority

The global pandemic has introduced some new words and phrases to our vocabulary, one of which is ‘Zoom-bombing.’ Around the world, people complained that unauthorised attendees crashed their Zoom meetings, sometimes showing offensive or derogatory imagery.

Security is one of those overlooked, yet vital, parts of the customer experience. When it works, you don’t notice it, but when it doesn’t work, there can be terrible consequences.


How to Ensure Security in the New Normal

Keep customers (and employees safe) by using tools with built-in security.

You’ll want something with two-factor authentication and encryption for data in transit and at rest to protect your information.

Virtual Experiences Will Still Need the Human Touch

Sometimes, the best digital experience is one in which a human can answer your questions quickly and accurately. Maybe a customer has a question about a product that only a salesperson can answer.

Even though many people will still only feel comfortable shopping online as the pandemic wears on, there’s still a role for humans in the purchase process. A salesperson could hold a video conference with a client, or a human could answer customer chats in real-time.

Giving the Human Touch, Virtually, in the New Normal

Again, the right tools allow you to deliver a better customer experience.

Secure video conferencing and chat let your customers connect with you, so you can answer their questions and reassure them that they’re making the best choice.

Enlighten Designs: Helping You Improve Your Customer Experience

For over two decades, Enlighten Designs has created amazing digital experiences for its customers. We’re a proud Microsoft partner, having achieved Gold status in the categories of Application Development, Data Platform, and Data Analytics. To learn more about offering a better customer experience, Contact Us.

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