Without a doubt, businesses across all sectors have felt the disruptive effects of the current global health crisis. However, some organizations are more affected than others. Indeed, Salesforce’s 2020 SMB Trend Report notes that SMB leaders are struggling to keep their businesses alive — mainly due to revenue losses, reduced customer demand, public health mandates, supply chain disruptions, and more.
Thankfully, SMBs can enhance their business and stay afloat by understanding what their customers need and adapt accordingly. The customer experience (CX) is one of the most important factors that can affect how a business performs and thrives nowadays, and businesses should be more proactive in using tools to bolster CX. So in this post, we’ll discuss what CX is, its role in helping SMBs survive, and how businesses can bolster their CX.
What is CX?
Simply put, CX is your customer’s overall perception of their experience with your organization, business, and brand. Every interaction your customer has with your business adds to it — whether it involves settling issues with a customer service representative, receiving a product or service, or navigating your website or app. Every move your business makes has an impact on how your customers’ view your organization and brand, which ultimately dictates how much they support you.
What's more, good CX can make your customers feel more satisfied and content with your product or service. By fulfilling your customers' expectations through great CX, you subconsciously place them on the front lines of advertising. Using positive experiences and interactions, you can turn them into brand advocates who will promote your business organically through word-of-mouth and online reviews. As explained in a discussion on Chron, word-of-mouth is one of the most effective, economical, and organic marketing tactics. That makes investing in great CX all the more important today.
The role of CX in the Time of COVID-19
In global crises such as the one we’re experiencing now, it is more difficult for businesses and enterprises to grow and maintain a steady profit. This often leads to a recession and a national economic slowdown. A Marcus article on recessions explains that some of the effects include rising unemployment rates, stock market losses, falling interest rates, and distress in various business sectors. To prevent these negative outcomes, SMBs need to think outside the box and figure out how to survive and thrive.
While it’s true that businesses need to reduce their spending to stay afloat in a time of crisis, funneling cash into improving CX is necessary if you want your customers to keep patronizing your company. This is because customer priorities shift during a recession, and they’re more likely to stick with brands who can provide a reliable experience for them. Plus, it’s more economical to put your resources into enhancing how current customers experience your products and services — rather than spending money on acquiring new customers. By focusing on CX and making sure both current and returning customers are satisfied, your business will be able to make it out of this crisis in one piece.
How can businesses improve their CX?
Consumer wants and needs have definitely changed because of the pandemic. For one, a global study on Forbes reveals that customers now prefer to support brands that are purpose-driven. You should study and be mindful of these changes, so you can incorporate them into your CX strategy — whether that means rethinking your company's mission and vision, or coming up with social impact initiatives. You can also use tools that can help you improve your CX. One such tool is our own Waitwhile, which is a waitlist and scheduling app that can significantly improve customer wait times and keep them informed via SMS or email. Aside from that, our application can also generate meaningful analytics, which informs you of how long your customers are waiting before they get serviced and allows you to see which customers remain loyal to your brand. For those looking for a customer relationship management software, you can use Zendesk, which allows you to support, guide, chat, and talk with your customers conveniently.
Qualtrics Customer XM is another tool that can significantly improve your business' CX. Today, customers can be reached on various channels, and using Qualtrics Customer XM allows you to keep in touch with them on unconventional channels — such as wearables and IoT devices. This program also helps you see customer feedback easily as it consolidates insights about your business from social media pages and third-party review sites.
Lastly, you can also use Medallia to manage your business' interaction with current and potential customers. What sets Medallia apart is that it uses AI technology to detect customer patterns, anticipate the needs of your target market, and predict the behavior of your current customer base. Additionally, the program has a Suggested Actions feature, which uses deep learning algorithms to suggest what your business can do to drive higher sales and better satisfy customers.
All in all, making sure that your CX doesn’t falter during these tough times is key to retaining loyal customers and preventing your business from going under. For more information check out our blog post 8 ways to increase sales and wow customers with Waitwhile.
Article written by Jaime Rosenburg
Exclusively for waitwhile.com