How To Improve Your Online Customer Experience During CoVID-19 Pandemic?

How To Improve Your Online Customer Experience During CoVID-19 Pandemic?

Thursday July 02, 2020,

6 min Read

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Online Customer Experience During CoVID-19

The recent outbreak of Coronavirus has left the entire world in a state of discontinuity and chaos. And at the same time, it has caused severe damage in terms of the global economy and has imposed a threat to business continuity.

Most of the businesses have shifted to the cloud, and with a virtual workforce and distributed teams, the most significant concern is to deliver customer service at the same pace.

Online customer requests and services have gained more momentum than ever, as the businesses are now operating entirely online.

Digital Customer Experience

Customer experience is the quality of the overall interaction a customer has with the brand. According to the Harvard Business Review, "digital customer experience includes only those experienced through a digital interface, like a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Researching a product online, using a mobile app to find a store's nearest location, searching for tech support information on a smartphone—these are all digital customer experiences."

This blog will highlight some major tips on how to take the online customer experience to the next level during the pandemic:

1. Empathise With The Customers- Understand Them

During these times of crisis, the most important thing a business can do is to listen to their customer queries. Customers may have a lot of questions regarding services like ticket cancellations, medical bookings, or even general awareness concerns. Thus, businesses need to go beyond customer surveys to establish much-needed customer understanding, especially in situations like this. Companies must follow the below steps to develop a greater harmony with the customers:

  • Conduct live conversations with the customers now
  • Reach out to the customers proactively
  • Get the research professionals to handle customer service calls

2. Implement FAQ's and Update Knowledge Base 

Customers initiate a service request when they are unable to find solutions on their own. Extending self-help services can be immensely beneficial to the customers in the time of pandemic as it gives them the options to resolve most of their queries themselves. FAQs include information about business products, services, exchange, and return policies. Businesses must modify their FAQ and knowledge base sections to include the necessary information related to the pandemic and how their services will continue to operate during these times.

FAQ section can offer the following benefits to the customers:

  • Provide instant information and assist customers in making purchase decisions
  • Save agents’ time so that they can handle more critical calls
  • Deliver improved customer service

3. Help Employees Deliver Great CX

One of the most important things to consider is to take care of the front line staff who is working relentlessly despite the pandemic. Businesses must have their IT staff working around the clock to ensure productivity and connectivity during work from home. Thus, ensuring the well being of the employees guarantees excellent customer service. Provide online training to the employees via video conferencing and discuss customer pain points with them. In the case of customer service agents, conduct regular meetings to highlight what common questions the customers are putting up and how to handle them.

Businesses can create a healthy employee-customer relationship in these times:

  • Invest in employee care programs 
  • Conduct online workshops to educate the employees
  • Bridge the communication gap and discuss customer issues

4. Maintain Consistency Across All Channels

In these times, businesses must provide consistent customer service across multiple communication channels like chat, web, mails, phone, social media. Providing customers with options to interact through various channels ensures that they are able to reach out to the business effectively. Also, the companies can use style guides to set rules for the way they communicate on the website and social media. Companies can serve their customers through various channels like:

  • Phone - Deploy business phone number on which customers can place calls.Toll free and vanity numbers can be used to maximise outreach
  • Emails and Chats - Sending detailed emails is the most preferred way of communication over calls
  • Social Media - Social media customer care ensures that customers are connected with the brand and are free to raise questions with an immediate response

5. Extend Chatbot Service

A chatbot allows businesses to automate live chat conversations. Companies can extend 24/7 customer service and provide fast responses. Sometimes, customers are too impatient to wait for a human agent to respond; therefore, chatbots eliminate the need for a human to be always available. Artificial intelligence-powered chatbots can offer instant replies and extend the desired customer support. Businesses can deploy chatbots during the pandemic to facilitate customer service:

  • Have a live chat with the customers
  • Integrate with CRM to provide customer interactions
  • Automate tasks and offer instant replies

6. Gather Customer Feedback

Getting customer feedback is a necessary step in creating a great online customer experience. Businesses may bring some changes in their operations, products, and services during the pandemic. Therefore, it is essential to take note of all the changes that are being made whether or not they are helpful for the customers. If customers cancel their subscriptions or change their buying decisions, businesses must ask for feedback via mail, etc. Surveys and feedback forms can be sent to customers to collect their responses.

Capturing customer reviews helps businesses:

  • Collect user responses and understand what they think about the services
  • Improve customer experience
  • Eliminate friction and customer frustration

Some more tips that can help businesses extend an exceptional customer experience during the pandemic are-

  • Optimise page loading time
  • Enable live chat at all hours
  • Offer quick responses
  • Build a strong social customer care 
  • Be proactive to outreach customers

To Wrap Up

The world is now a changed place due to the pandemic. Customer behaviour and expectations will surely witness some changes as we are all far more concerned about health and safety. So it's the responsibility of the businesses to offer the same level of customer service along with the operational continuity.

Though companies have the advantage of shifting their services online and resuming the operations, they can conveniently provide customer support via online channels using various tools. Despite the pandemic, the only factor that remains constant is the demand for a smooth customer experience.