Flexibility has become the pandemic watchword for businesses. And I’ve been impressed at how flexible so many businesses have been.
One of my favourite examples is Celtic Candles in Ireland. They normally produce candles for wholesale, but have pivoted to hand sanitiser now hospitality and religious orders have fallen off a cliff. They tracked down suppliers, organised compliant packaging and are manufacturing with social distancing. They’ve managed to keep all 13 employees and have shipped more than 10 tonnes.
It’s an inspiring story, but coronavirus adjustments don’t necessarily have to involve new product development and supply chain overhaul. My local bakery launched an e-commerce platform within days of lockdown, and I’m delighted to be enjoying their delicious cinnamon buns – delivered by bike, with contact-free delivery.
Now’s the time to move the digital dial
My bakery is proof that there are cost-effective ways to harness new digital capabilities. There are myriad choices that can help you drive revenue, boost operational efficiency and maintain customer loyalty in the current climate.
But how do you direct investment in the best way?
Focus on delighting current customers and supporting employees
Celtic Candles is one example of how companies are successfully tapping into new markets when their pre-COVID revenue base evaporated. But, if your business model is adaptable – like my bakery – then it’s worth starting with digital investments that support customer retention and empower employees.
Customer service research found that, since February, businesses have seen a 17% increase in average weekly support ticket volume. This increases to 76% for grocery companies and 60% for airlines. At a time when anxiety is high, being able to resolve issues efficiently helps drive loyalty and motivate staff.
You need to track and adapt your customer journeys in real-time
You deliver those high resolution and satisfaction rates when you have visibility of actual customer journeys – and can eliminate bottlenecks as they emerge.
Are people getting stuck in an endless support loop because of quick changes that had to be made? Do staff have access to all the information they need to solve each issue? Are there quick self-service wins you’re missing out on?
The right technology can help answer those essential customer journey questions.
Customer journey visualisation gives you a visual representation of interactions across all channels and touchpoints. With this single, user-friendly view, you gain an invaluable, holistic understanding into customer behaviour. Then, you can drill into each interaction, home in on drop-off points and identify where processes can be streamlined.
This delivers financial and operational benefits, because it becomes easy to:
- Cut across information siloes – you truly see the experience from your customers’ perspective because you’re integrating data from all your online and offline systems
- Offer proactive, multi-channel support – deeper insight and AI-powered technology help you pre-empt issues and personalise journeys based on individual needs
- Free up staff – by offering self-service options that deliver results, so employees can focus on higher-value tasks
- Automate re–engagement – if customers drop off the expected journey, you can automatically trigger re-engagement, boosting satisfaction and providing immediate support to achieve their goal
- Track KPIs and ROI in real-time – when you have all customer journey information centralised in one view, it’s easier to monitor the effectiveness of your processes and automation
Together, these benefits enable you to direct investment and effort intelligently, based on evidence rather than assumption.
Be memorable for the right reasons
Customers and staff will remember tomorrow the companies that support them today.
With the right tools and information at your fingertips, you can be more efficient and supportive – and in a stronger position for ongoing success.