As many businesses start to contemplate what “the new normal” after COVID-19 looks like, the harsh reality is that many of us are facing an uncertain future of doing more with less.
The numbers tell a grim story. A new report shows that new statistical records (not good ones!)are being set on an almost weekly basis, and that while “reopening”has started, a majority of businesses believe it will take more than six months for their businesses to return to normal.
The new normal for CX post-COVID
Not surprisingly, customers are anxious, leading to an increase in inquiries and greater demand for an above-average customer service (CX).
Ada’s data showed call center volume spiked across industries during the first two weeks of COVID-19. Airline conversations went up 400%, retail up 60%, technology up 25%, and telecom up 20%.
Knowing this, if you’re a CX leader, how do you structure your teams to meet the new reality of business fluctuations at a time of increasing customer demand?
McKinsey notes that resilience will be required as segments of the economy reopen to uneven growth. Even if you can’t anticipate what the next year will look like for your business, what can you do to be better prepared from a customer support perspective? Automation gives you the operational flexibility you need to be resilient.
Automation and personalization as the pillars for your support strategy
As I/we mentioned in an earlier blog, companies need to focus on providing smarter options, not more choice.
Positive customer engagement no longer requires a human touch, but it does still require a personal touch. This means answering customer questions quickly and intuitively, respecting the customer’s time and their business by using technology to respond to inquiries and resolve issues in a timely and efficient manner.
By using AI to generate more conversations, conversational AI lets you solve 80% of customer inquiries quickly and with high customer satisfaction. In fact, letting customers self-serve is one of the customers' most common requests, and typically leads to higher CSAT scores.
This model also gives you the flexibility to address headcount uncertainty as we return to work.
Traditional “agent-first” customer service strategies are tied to inflexible business models that rely heavily on perpetual headcount growth and seat licenses, models you don’t want to be tied into during this time of uncertain growth.
An automation first strategy that leverages conversational AI from Ada allows you to scale up and scale down as your business needs fluctuate.
Using conversational AI to meet customer demands after COVID
Many organizations feel stuck right now as they attempt to create satisfied customers in the face of soaring inquiries, cost concerns and an uncertain economic recovery. Conversational AI becomes the front lines of customer communications, easing the burden on CX teams, and giving agents more time to spend on complex, high-priority inquiries.
An automation-first strategy improves satisfaction across the board, improving the experience for customers, agents and giving service organizations the flexibility and resilience they need to come back from COVID-19.
Learn more about Ada and how conversational AI helps organization adapt to unpredictable circumstances here.