Prior to the coronavirus crisis, allowing customers to complete transactions remotely was mostly a matter of satisfying growing customer preferences for digital convenience. In the coronavirus era, digital services can no longer be thought of as a nice augmentation to traditional ways of doing things. Digital must be considered the primary way of conducting business (and the most important driver of CX), as face-to-face interactions wane.
A recent survey found that 84% of consumers expect brands to find ways to maximize digital interactions to keep them safe from the highly contagious disease.
Fully digitized transactions are the best shot companies have at maintaining business continuity and CX for the duration of the crisis, which still has no end in sight.
If businesses are truly committed to servicing their customers at this time, they will need to switch to remote processes, and fast. Leaving a void is not just unacceptable –– it is also unnecessary, as there are plenty of easy ways to conduct business remotely.
Here are the most critical ones:
Remote call centers
Ensure agent productivity
A March 2020 survey conducted by PwC found that 42% of CFOs are concerned about the effects of the coronavirus on their workplaces’ productivity. While remote work is an adjustment for companies that aren’t accustomed to it, those that adapt successfully will come out ahead.
It starts with having a flexible backend system that isn’t location-dependent. It’s also important to make sure agents are able to connect to mobile hotspots and other ways of reaching the internet, as consumer broadband services may be overloaded at this time.
Protect company security
However, it’s not enough just to ensure remote call center agents are equipped with the right software and internet connectivity. Companies also need to ensure remote work complies with security and compliance standards.
For example, Comcast made sure its newly-remote fleet of service workers received company laptops that came with pre-installed computer security software. Such measures will be crucial particularly for large enterprises that are held to the highest security standards.
Reduce the paperwork burden
More and more people and now stuck at home, they work, they live, they raise children, live lives, and keeping distant, all within a few yards. Customers are not going to come in person nor will you visit them to fill out any kind of paperwork, be it for a contract, opening a bank account, filing for deferments, unfortunately, or completing claims documentation. Compound that with the fact they mostly likely don’t have a fax or printer. All of this combined means less customers, and more unsatisfied customers, ultimately hurting your customer’s experience and your brand. Here are a few quick tips on how to handle the paperwork issue.
Obtain customer signatures remotely and in the moment
Despite the coronavirus, there is still a need to obtain legally-binding signatures. Fortunately, eSignatures carry the same legal weight as wet signatures, with the significant advantage of not requiring customers to visit a physical location.
But not all eSignature solutions are created equal. According to Pew research, 17% of American households are “smartphone-only” –– meaning they can only reach the internet through their smartphone. These consumers, who are largely lower-income, have no access to computers or laptops.
In order for them to sign a contract or form from their homes, they will need to be serviced with a mobile-optimized, easy-to-use eSignature solution. They can even be used during a call with a contact center agent who can guide them through the signing process.
During normal times, mobile eSignatures are proven to generate 50% higher completion rates than wet signatures. During the coronavirus outbreak, they are a lifeline for both companies and customers.
Get all forms completed remotely, easily, and error-free
Traditional paperwork has always added friction to customer-facing processes due to confusing instructions and a high likelihood of errors. Providing customers with mobile-optimized forms with an intuitive interface eliminates the need for remote agents to deal with error-filled physical paperwork, which adds stress and increases turnaround time.
Digital eForms allow agents to jump on a call with customers and guide them through the forms in real-time, so all the necessary information can be received at once without re-dos.
The last thing homebound agents and customers need is to navigate complicated and messy physical paperwork. Digital eForms keep things organized and simple for remote frontline employees and the customers they serve.
The bottom line
Most companies are already taking distancing actions to change their interaction patterns with customers. Some of these measures include reduced opening hours, limits on the number of people allowed into a location, and split teams.
But merely limiting in-person interactions, without providing effective digital alternatives, will result in widespread customer frustration and even lost business.
The good news is that implementing digital solutions such as remote call centers, mobile-optimized eSignatures, digital eForms, and simplified document collection will enable businesses to continue servicing customers when they need it most during these difficult times.
The even better news? Customers will be grateful for the convenience and improved customer experience of mobile options long after the crisis passes.