Digital gamechanger: Covid19 shakes up brands to preserve immaculate CX online

2020 has challenged all businesses, b2b and b2c alike. How can AI Tech and Big data help bring seamless CX in a crisis?

Social distancing might be the new normal, but it also has people virtually moving online at such grand volumes, we’re all practically playing Minecraft. Covid19 has done a proper number on every brand whether in retail, e-commerce or even SaaS platforms. What’s interesting is this crisis has unified the world to bring forth the opportunity and necessity to redefine the customer experience.

Almost 3 billion people are under quarantine globally which has led to a paramount shift in the way that people interact with brands (which is largely online). There is a rapid shift in consumption and buying behavior as business operations come to a standstill, and customers focus on investing in essentials only. In fact, customers are even turning to less familiar brands as availability plays a defining role in daily sustenance. How does digital cx, big data and analytics shine light on the way forward from here on?

The need of the hour is immediate and meaningful communication. Many brands have already moved their customer support online to address a surge of emails, calls and website queries. The use of big data should be geared to help brands focus on asking open-ended questions to understand what people are truly feeling. In a crisis, this will lead to actionable insights and hereby lead to tighter metrics in order to establish strategic brand movement through a crisis period.

Surely enough, customer retention is key at this moment. Response management systems help focus on immediate communication with customers on a regular basis. If crisis-made insights teach us anything, it is for brands to focus on making customers want to repurchase at this very moment. If a customer does that, it assures loyalty as opposed to long term data insights that may fail to build trust in a time of need. Additionally, nothing is more effective than a strong NPS system that allows brands to learn, upgrade and respond.

Messaging apps are also seeing a high volume of interaction, as people use chat services to communicate with each other. Globally, Whatsapp has seen a 40% increase in usage from its original 27% before Mar 24, 2020, as per Techcrunch magazine.
This in itself, is fueling a rapid transformation for CX as many brands leverage on the cost-effective of chat services such as Whatsapp to provide customer satisfaction. Currently, quarantine has resulted in an exponential growth in downloads of apps like Zoom for both business and social interaction. As of March 19, 2020, Zoom’s net worth is higher than Uber standing at 29 Million dollars– which is also more than American Airlines and United Airlines. While Zoom looks like it may last a while, apps like Houseparty were short-lived, but not without making their mark. Two weeks ago, Houseparty was the 1,450th most popular app on the app store. At the beginning of April, it was the #1 most popular app . Of course, global privacy concerns made it appear to be too good to be true, but that didn’t change the purpose it served to disclose customer behavior online.

Many of these emerging changes present brands with a challenge with supporting growth of volume. Amazon.com hired 10,000 temporary workers to handle online customer demands. For those who cannot invest on the same scale, automation is a wonderful and cost-effective alternative. The need for chatbots for communication has already increased vastly, as people adapt to a crisis and new habits are being formed, the transformation is here to stay long term. The dependency on automation for brands for client retention will be here to stay long after the Covid19 crisis has passed.

A B2B brand would operate slightly differently: Think about the pharmaceutical industry – an industry that thrives on field sales traditionally. Under the current circumstance, a pharma brand would do well to integrate their CRM software with their sales teams and work remotely. This is also a perfect opportunity for brands to cater to online communities or online interest groups as many users are exposed on content they don’t usually consume. CRM algorithms are designed to search for potential customers looking for a switch.

Now is the opportunity for brands to move online and teach customers to engage with your business online. Nothing prevails retention and satisfaction in times crisis such as real-time and relevant information. Whether it is to provide discounts or, if it is to highlight products and services that can help customers get through the Covid19 crisis, brands will benefit from simple and effective communication. Covid19 has brought upon an opportunity for brands to connect with people on a more human level. It is an opportunity where brands can help users understand what the crisis has changed for the brand and by extension, what has changed for them.

Amidst a crisis, it is important for the brand to utilize the strengths of data and analytics to gather insights and build an ecosystem for changing customer behaviors and market conditions to co-exist.

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Nishevita Aiyer

Client Relationships Manager
Locobuzz