It’s clear that the Coronavirus has affected everything from commerce to customers, but how precisely is it impacting customer experience (CX) programs? Additionally, how can companies use their experience programs to spot problem areas and enact meaningful change under these unprecedented conditions?
In a recent webinar, we posed these questions to our CX experts and they were all too willing to answer. What follows is a quick, three-step journey they outlined for brands to understand customer experiences, ensure that they’re picking up accurate info, and to effectively share those insights with leadership.
Step #1: Monitoring CX Programs
There are several trends and changes that brands can expect to see within their CX programs during this challenging time. For most businesses, in-person transactions have decreased while online transactions have soared, so companies should adjust their sampling criteria accordingly.
Additionally, brands should ensure that the trends they’re seeing are based on adequate sampling sizes, and remember that geography can have a massive impact on response rates. After making any necessary adjustments, it’s time to let the data flow once again and move on to the next step: learning.
Step #2: Learn From What You’re Hearing
There are several data sources that brands should pay close attention to during this pandemic, especially survey questions about transactions, employee professionality, and store effectiveness (especially cleanliness). Open-ended questions and social media comments are lucrative sources of insights like these.
Other data sets that companies should pull from include quantitative feedback, operational and financial data, and employee input. Putting all of this information into the same place is an ideal goal during the best of times, but it’s especially important for grasping the full picture of your brand’s goals and challenges now.
After brands have gathered all of this information, they should compare it to its pre-pandemic counterparts to discover what has changed and, more importantly, what within the organization needs changing. The quickest way for companies to gauge how they’re doing is to look for both consistencies and inconsistencies between these two sets of information. This allows organizations to rapidly identify their strengths, weaknesses, and any journey pain points that may need fixing.
Step #3: Sharing Learnings with Leadership
Figuring out how your organization is faring is one thing—reporting that to the higher-ups is another. There are several factors that we’re seeing leaders care about most (and thus that CX practitioners should report first), including customers’ current experience with a brand and the impact COVID-19 is having on the business from both customer and employee perspectives.
Leaders should also be apprised of how customers are interacting with the organization, what those customers are saying, and what they’ve stopped doing (such as in-person shopping). CX practitioners should also report employee input on the situation and how any resulting workplace changes are making them feel.
As for the pandemic’s business impact, leaders should be allowed to compare pre- and mid-COVID conditions to gain full context. Practitioners can then report changes, needed fixes, and, perhaps more optimistically, opportunities for meaningful improvement. It never hurts to share customer and employee stories that make the case for these fixes, too.
Taking the Fight to COVID-19
Companies that stick by this process will come out of the Coronavirus pandemic in a much stronger position than brands that don’t. By monitoring CX programs, being vigilant for inconsistencies, and keeping leadership apprised of the opportunities those inconsistencies reveal, organizations can reveal the true power of experience programs and let customers know that they haven’t been forgotten. Those customers will remember that dedication when this pandemic ends.
Knowing how to navigate you customer experience during this difficult time can be a challenge, so we distilled our CX expertise into a new webinar, “Revealing the Power of Experience Programs in a Time of Crisis,” that you can access for free here!