The Next Normal: 3 Ways to Better Serve Customers Now

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Over the last few months, “business as usual” looked much different due to COVID-19. Even with the economy reopening, business is still far from normal. With most agents working virtually from home and an increase in online inquiries from customers, a comprehensive digital engagement strategy has suddenly become the key to success.

Use the list below to complete a quick revamp of your online customer experience and ensure you are providing the most accurate information, maximizing the tools you already have, and prioritizing your digital channels.

1. Identify opportunities to proactively guide your customers online.

COVID-19 has caused banks, retailers and insurance providers to rethink what it means to digitally serve their customers. When customers need help, an endless telephone support queue just adds to their frustration and anxiety.

Digitally savvy organizations work across marketing and customer service to create a plan that stops struggle before it happens. At the top of the funnel, that could mean welcoming a new visitor with current promotions or helping a visitor select from multiple products. At the bottom, customers might need help entering a promo code correctly or want clarification on shipping policies.

Use a digital engagement planner to map customer struggle points to engagement opportunities along the customer journey. Once you have identified the struggle, proactively offer useful snippets of information (text, audio, or video content) to increase engagement and ultimately, drive revenue.

2. Address common COVID-19 questions early and often.

Help your customers self-serve and improve agent efficiency by creating a standardized set of COVID-19 questions and answers. Equip your agents with consistent answers or, better yet, proactively offer the answer to customers on your site before they even have to ask.

To get you started, here are some common customer service questions being asked of our customers:

PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE
• How can customers make special payment arrangements on auto and property insurance premiums?
• What forms of digital communication are offered and what times are best to reach out?
• How can customers request waived late fees?

PERSONAL BANKING
• The ATM near me is not working. Will you waive out-of-network ATM fees?
• How do I apply for a mortgage forbearance plan?
• Is it safe to handle cash?

RETAIL
• How long will my return and refund take to process?
• I cannot return my purchase because of COVID-19. Can I get an extension?
• Is this in-store coupon redeemable online?

Read our complete list of 34 common COVID-19 questions.

3. Review and update your customer service content and processes

According to Forrester, 77% of consumers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with a good experience. Prioritize the customer experience in the new normal by pausing in the chaos to take a fresh look at your content and internal processes.

Review your automated text (frequently used sayings, auto-acknowledgements, on hold text, etc.) to ensure it reflects expected response times and relevant messaging. Plus, don’t forget to add new articles to your knowledgebase for consistent answer no matter how your customer reaches out.

Now is also a good time to review your routing rules to make sure the right people are connected with customers the first time. By matching content and service lines with the agent most equipped to handle the inquiry within seconds, you can ensure a seamless chain of effective communication.

Lastly, with more agents working remotely, consider beefing up your training and supervisory functionality. Whispering, take-over, and agent to supervisor instant messaging on chat plus quality control outbox in email provides another layer of review to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction.

As business continues to evolve, the digital customer experience is perhaps more important now than ever before. The above tips will help ensure your customer experience promotes loyalty, engagement, and customer satisfaction.

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