Customer Experience changes forever in the wake of COVID-19
“COVID-19 has already changed the world forever.” “Our social, economic, and political impacts will be felt for many years to come.” “Our new normal.”
These are things we’ve heard over and over, but just what exactly do they mean? While many have already become numb to these expressions, the constant news cycle, and unrelenting state of change, it’s important to understand that the effects COVID-19 has had on businesses and customer behavior is not a temporary shift. In some ways, this pandemic has only sped up the digital transformation that had already started to take place over the past two decades.
In a new study from Precisely and Corinium Intelligence, titled Customer Experience in a Post-COVID-19 World, more than 100 senior CX leaders were surveyed to try and shed some light on not only how COVID-19 has impacted their businesses over the past few months, but what the future looks like. Even though we may be far from seeing the last of this virus as cases continue to grow in some areas, businesses have already begun to see changes. According to the study:
- 86% of CX Leaders have updated their strategies because of COVID-19
- 79% say COVID-19 has increased the volume of digital customer interactions with their brands
- 55% say customers are now more likely to ‘self-serve’ using digital tools
- 50% say customers now expect more seamless, integrated digital experiences
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COVID-19 has already changed CX forever. It has disrupted in-person interactions. It’s transformed customer behavior. And it’s resulted in a digital space that’s noisier and harder to cut through in than ever. This representative survey of more than 100 senior customer experience leaders shines a light on the ways COVID-19 has already reshaped the business landscape. Then, it profiles the strategies and innovations CX pioneers are developing to prepare for the future.
The key investment areas for CX
Due to these changes in behavior, organizations have had to drastically shift their go-to-market CX strategies overnight, accelerating the pace at which they were moving on their digital transformation journey. With the pandemic forcing higher volumes of customers to engage with brands online, technologies that facilitate a more seamless, omnichannel, self-service experience are the focus areas for any technology investment. Topping the list of investments:
- Multi-channel CX platforms
- Chatbots with ‘live takeover’ and Natural Language Processing capabilities
- Digital self-service platforms
- Interactive, personalized videos
CX Leaders are going to have to make these integrated technologies a priority if they have any chance of keeping up with their customers’ expectations, because these changes are here to stay for the long-term. A full quarter of survey respondents are expecting to replace brick and mortar parts of their client-facing operations with 100% digital alternatives. Additionally, one third of respondents expect to shutter at least some stores, branches or offices. It’s clear that digital strategy is key now, more than ever.
We don’t know what the future of COVID-19 looks like. We don’t know when it will end and how. But what we do know is that business’ long-term reactions to the effects and changes will determine their success or failure.
Download the full report, Customer Experience in a Post-COVID-19 World, to learn more.