Effective customer engagement was already high-priority during normal times but in the age of COVID-19, it is critical and can make or break a brand. We know that in 2020, customer experience has overtaken product and pricing as the single biggest brand differentiator. With the new set of rules coming in like social distancing, work from home and shelter-in-places, it is imperative for brands to have an omnichannel approach to foster an effective customer engagement plan.
It is a fact that, with the outbreak of the current pandemic, we are witnessing brands of all kinds scrambling to keep pace with shifting customer behavior. This is exacerbated by customers who are confused, anxious and not able to cope with the new realities, calling customer support relentlessly. This is where forward-thinking brands are able to address the evolving customer expectations with multiple online channels, understanding real-intent of the customers, making an effort to gauge the customer sentiments, and ultimately providing a customer experience that meets their expectations even in these trying times.
We know that creating a strong emotional connection with your customers in today’s tough times is key to having long-term loyal customers. According to research from McKinsey: companies that excelled in customer service during the 2008 financial crisis provided three times more returns to their shareholders than those who did not. So now would be the right time to build an effective customer engagement strategy for your brand.
Building an effective customer engagement strategy
We know that customer engagement can take place between you and your customers through various channels. These channels could be online and offline. But online channels are gaining prominence with each passing day. These channels could be mobile apps, chatbots, voice bots, social media, et al. But the trick is to provide your customers the channels that they are comfortable with and then successfully weave it into your omnichannel strategy.
#1. Offering channels that customers want
Helping customers with the channels that they prefer is like giving them control to engage with you in a manner that suits them the best. But the tricky part is to have your messaging and data integrated across all these channels seamlessly. If you fail to connect these channels then the customers can bounce around, you may have to repeat the information, and all this can lead to complete collapse of your omnichannel strategy.
But today’s tech-savvy customers expect a consistent experience across channels. They want you to provide a smooth experience and understand the context based on their earlier interaction with your brand. The difference between an omnichannel experience and a multichannel experience is that in the former all your channels integrate into a seamless customer experience.
A powerful conversational AI solution like Uniphore’s Conversational Service Automation platform can help you build an omnichannel experience by seamlessly integrating voice, chat, social media, IVR to provide your customers a powerful customer service experience. Thus, it is a win-win situation for you and your customers.
#2. Coaching your agents to succeed
The nub of an effective customer engagement strategy is your call center agents. When the agents walk the extra mile to service the customers, you can be assured of a memorable customer experience. For this to happen, your agents should have all the relevant expertise and customer information needed so they can drive a great customer experience. According to research, the major drivers for customer dissatisfaction with agents include agents not being able to resolve their queries, unusually long wait times and even agents offering wrong solutions.
Having a powerful omnichannel dashboard can give your agents a unified view of the entire customer journey so they can precisely focus on resolving the customer issues at hand. Having unified communication is key to driving effective agent-customer conversations and long-term engagement. If the customer issue needs the experience of an expert, then the agent must quickly transfer the call to a subject matter expert.
Uniphore’s Conversational Service Automation is an AI-powered platform that can help you augment your call center agent capabilities. This platform offers real-time agent-assist, automation, conversational analytics, FAQ resolution with intelligent AI bots, integration of various digital channels and more. All this ensures your agents can perform to the best of their abilities and offer stellar customer engagement and service, at all times. This ultimately results in improved customer satisfaction scores and higher customer lifetime value.
#3. Bringing in self-service options
In the time of a pandemic like the one that we are currently witnessing, customers prefer control and speedy resolution of their queries. That is when self-service becomes the preferred channel to foster effective customer engagement. Self-service options like AI-based chatbots and voice bots deflect the queries from call center agents. At the same time these self-service options drive better customer results and improved customer satisfaction.
Again, Uniphore’s Conversational Service Automation can come to your rescue with its powerful digital agents that can adapt to a wide range of industry verticals offering customized solutions. Our AI-based voice bots and chatbots can seamlessly answer FAQs and even be the first point of contact for customer queries. These intelligent virtual assistants can answer common questions, provide information, execute transactions, and even hot transfer the calls to a live agent with all the context transferred in real-time to the human agent.
Get in touch with Uniphore to learn more about how you can build an effective customer engagement plan.