The pandemic disrupted the world in a way nobody could have imagined.

During 2020, stay-at-home directives pushed staff outside of the office while consumers remained indoors and ordered deliveries to avoid interaction. Companies had to adapt their go-to-market strategies, and global uncertainty drove a rapid increase in service calls.

Now that we’re approaching a post-pandemic world, brands will need to consider how they can adapt their customer service, engagement, and retention strategies for a new kind of client. McKinsey reported that around 75% of consumers in the US have changed their shopping behavior drastically, and these changes are likely to stick.

The good news for today’s organizations is there are opportunities out there, if you know how to grab them.

Here’s how you can adapt your customer retention strategy for post-pandemic sales.

The Shift to Digital Service and Support

The shopping landscape has changed dramatically in the last year, with one McKinsey report indicating that eCommerce grew the same amount in 3 months as it previously did in 10 years.

Consumers spent around $211.5 billion online during the second quarter of 2020, an increase of 21.8% from the first quarter. Since the pandemic, customer priorities have changed. Your clients now want digital experiences which are convenient, safe, and reliable.

Economic uncertainty is also causing customers to pay attention to the “trust” element of purchasing. People want to know they can believe in their chosen brands to deliver the best possible experiences before they’re willing to invest.

For most brands, the key to acquiring and retaining customers is offering not just an amazing shopping experience, but an ever-evolving service experience too.

Key CCaaS Features for Customer Loyalty

Contact Center as a Service, or CCaaS technology, gives companies an opportunity to evolve rapidly to suit the needs of their audience. Through CCaaS solutions, brands can empower remote teams, deliver different channels for service, and personalize customer experiences.

The following are some of the most effective CCaaS tools for leveraging the new age of customer retention and engagement.

1.    AI and Self-Service

Customers worldwide adapted to the pandemic by increasing their focus on experiences that are simple, convenient, and fast. Part of what made Amazon so popular in the pandemic was how easy it was to buy anything and get a fast delivery.

In the contact center, brands have been dealing with a rapid increase in the number of service requests from many consumers. Rather than waiting for a callback from a staff member, many people would prefer to have the option to solve their problems themselves. Intelligent chatbots and IVR systems can guide clients through simple processes quickly.

With a CCaaS solution, you can implement an automated system for taking customer payments, updating account details, and more, all through natural language processing. Just remember that human voice and interaction should still be available for anyone who needs it.

2.    Personalization for Emotional Connections

One of the key drivers of customer loyalty has always been the ability of a brand to build an emotional connection with clients. Within the CCaaS environment, it’s possible to enhance that connection in a variety of ways.

For instance, with a CCaaS solution that combines multiple channels for communication, you can track a customer’s end-to-end journey and respond with service strategies that make sense for each client. Integrations between your contact center and CRM systems can help with delivering more personalized and contextual experiences.

In cases where agents are negatively affecting customer sentiment, live conversation monitoring can even allow coaches to step in and rectify issues before it’s too late. This could mean that you prevent a client from leaving your company and going elsewhere.

3.    Omnichannel interactions

One of the biggest benefits of contact centers in the cloud, is that companies can easily add multiple channels for customer service into the same environment. Over the last year, customers have grown increasingly accustomed to things like shopping online and interacting with companies via SMS or live chat. Some brands are even beginning to offer video for more face-to-face interaction.

To retain clients in this new landscape, businesses will have to ensure they’re available on every relevant channel their customer uses. What’s more, it will be essential for these brands to ensure every channel they offer is properly connected on the backend to maintain consistency and context.

An aligned backend environment with multiple channels, ranging from SMS and WhatsApp to social media, will give companies more ways to connect with their clients. What’s more, employees will manage every conversation on the same pane of glass, reducing wasted time.

4.    Data Analytics

Analytics aren’t a new concept in the world of effective customer service and retention. Increasingly, however, companies are trying to predict problems before they arise for clients, creating loyalty. In-depth analytics gives companies the ability to understand their customers better. The right CCaaS solution can collect insights through AI interactions with clients or compliant call recordings.

With tools like Microsoft Teams Contact Centers, it’s even possible to use API-first architectures to connect additional tools like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics for deeper insights into customers.

Data won’t just be an essential tool in the contact center for managing customers either. Increasingly, companies will be relying on data for insights into remote and hybrid employees. Reporting and real-time analytics allow companies to monitor the performance of their teams and deliver supervisor assistance when required. Analytics and metrics can even translate into dashboards and wallboards which offer motivation to teams.

5.    Aligned Customer Service Teams

To survive in the new age of customer retention, companies need access to the most informed and empowered agents. As mentioned above, a CCaaS solution can provide analytics to employees which assist them in making better decisions and delivering improved service. CCaaS offerings also improve productivity by giving staff a more aligned backend environment to work from.

In a cloud-based contact center, employees can work from anywhere in the world, and still access all the information they need to achieve amazing outcomes. Some contact center solutions are specially designed to create a more collaborative experience in the new world of work. For instance, a Microsoft Teams contact center aligns your employees within a collaborative landscape.

Direct routing technology within Microsoft Teams gives companies the opportunity to combine their CCaaS and UCaaS environments in one space. This allows for better interaction between employees when working on complex customer queries. Staff members can reach out to specialists when they need help or bring other staff members into a client conversation to work on a problem in tandem.

With bots and integrations, it’s even possible to create a feedback loop by asking customers for feedback which can be shared with the rest of the team in a shared landscape. These reviews and insights can offer guidance into where the business needs to evolve.

6.    Flexibility and Scalability

While there are many features in a CCaaS environment which are ideally suited to the customer retention strategies of tomorrow, one of the most significant is the flexibility of the platform. A cloud contact center environment can adapt according to the needs of your business and its customers.

For companies making the shift into the hybrid workforce, a cloud solution makes it easier to provision new staff members and roll features out to employees around the world. For businesses keen to embrace new forms of communication for customers, contact centers in the cloud open the door to multiple enhancements. Choose the right CCaaS provider, and you can unlock an API first architecture that makes customization options limitless.

As the world continues to change following the pandemic, most companies will be searching for ways to adapt to the new and evolving needs of their customers. This will require business leaders to embrace a more agile approach to updating the contact center. Technology in the cloud offers the ultimate opportunity to ensure your business is prepared for anything.

Constantly Improving Experiences with CCaaS

As the landscape continues to change for both customers and companies, we’re likely to see a massive shift in the strategies we use for customer retention. Today’s brands need to be aware of the factors which most influence their clients to choose one company over another. In the post-pandemic era, things like speed, trust, convenience, and safety will all be more important than ever.

Fortunately, tools like CCaaS open the door to more agile operations within the contact center. When you’re running your contact center and customer engagement strategy through the cloud, you have access to a broader range of valuable tools that you can adapt and update however you choose. As the world continues to reshape itself, companies in the cloud will have the freedom to move at the same speed as their target audience.

If you’re keen to discover the kind of meaningful experiences you can deliver with the right flexible CCaaS solution, contact Geomant today.

 

 

 

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