How many times have you found yourself in a company’s voicemail hell? You know, where you’re unable to get past the AI-driven directory and recorded voice messages so you hang up in frustration and vow never to do business with that company again. Don’t worry — you’re not alone.
Marketers who understand the value of delivering an awesome customer experience (CX) have been using it to distinguish their businesses from the competition for several years now.
In the age of COVID-19, CX is no longer a competitive edge — it’s the cost of doing business. It’s how you connect with customers and prospects in a virtual business environment, make a first impression and build a lasting relationship.
The key to your success is finding the right balance between high tech and high touch as we continue to practice social distancing. Here’s a hint: Be as human as you can.
To help create the perfect balance between technology and real-time human access in today’s world, here are six things to take under consideration.
Assess Present Customer Experiences
The business environment has changed — with people working remotely and relying on digital platforms and technology to get a virtual impression, you need to take a close look at how your CX plays out.
Look at every interaction between your company, its customers and prospects across the buying journey. Ask yourself:
- Is the tone appropriate?
- Are we informative and supportive?
- Are we anticipating people’s wants and needs?
- Do we come across as though we care and want to help?
- Is interacting with our company a pleasant experience?
- Does our CX help us build relationships with customers and prospects?
Take Advantage Of Human Touchpoints
Traditionally, when marketers discussed CX, they emphasized the need to balance high tech and high touch. But in the age of COVID-19, the experience is taking on a new role.CX is the voice and face of your company. Between masks, social distancing and remote working conditions, people are deprived of human touchpoints. So, while adding chatbots and AI tools may seem like a practical choice, you may want to increase your use of live voice and virtual face-to-face with phone calls and platforms like Zoom.
First Impressions Are Everything
You never get a second chance to create a first impression, and the importance of exceeding expectations right from the start is as critical as ever.
Evaluate the calls coming into your business. Depending on what most people seem to want, you may need to redesign your phone directory. On the other hand, if most people have product and sales questions and don’t know with whom they need to talk, you may want to replace your electronic directory with a receptionist who can answer questions and help direct calls.
Similarly, if your website is the first point of contact, make sure you are presenting your message clearly, making it easy for people to understand what you do while providing the phone numbers and email addresses people need.
Excellent CX doesn’t require you to blow people away with dramatic, Hollywood-style visuals. You’ll show them you care just by making it easy to find what they want and reach a human representative quickly when they are ready.
Establish Trust Early And Build On It
Buyers are always looking for brands they can trust, and according to the Edelman Trust Barometer, that doesn’t change with the pandemic. Seventy-one percent (71%) of recent respondents reported that they no longer trust a company or brand when they sense it’s putting profits ahead of customers.
At one time or another, you’ve likely felt that if the experience is below par before the sale, it’s probably going to be worse after a company has your first order. Build trust early and don’t lose momentum after you’ve closed the deal. Follow through and continue to deliver a great experience to your paying clients.
Be Prepared For Questions
As you’re developing content for your website and social channels, anticipate the questions buyers will have throughout their journey of discovery and decision-making. Instead of the hard sell, be consultative.
In addition to white papers, blogs and web copy that answer common questions, offer videos, webinars and podcasts.
Make it easy for prospects to reach a buying decision and, when they are ready, make sure a sales rep is easily accessible by phone or video chat.
Investing In The Right Technology
Finally, if your employees — especially sales reps and customer service teams — are interacting with customers and prospects from their remote workplace, make sure they have the bandwidth and tools to deliver. If you have sales reps running live webinars, you want those events to run smoothly with no buffering, lost connections or poor sound.
Your customers and prospects want safety and normalcy in this age of COVID. The last thing you want to do is add to their frustration or unease.
Your virtual events and digital content are helping to keep buyers safe. Your humanity — easy access to staff by phone, video conference or email; a caring attitude; and willingness to share knowledge — can do the rest.
Tania Russo is originally from Germany, where she grew up and started her professional journey. She joined 3D2B in 2016 and brought value to client engagement with lead conversions, and overall team spirit and support. In her current role as a Project Manager, Tania manages inside sales teams on a daily basis for inbound/outbound campaign execution, lead generation, account-based marketing, account/contact profiling and campaign planning/tracking. Tania is fluent in German, Italian and English.
This story premiered on our sister site, DemandGen Report.