The crisis is here–dive into the panic and uncertainty!
The pressure on you as a CX manager is significant. Your colleagues expect you to have a crystal ball, asking you to predict customer needs and behaviour. You can usually cater to such requests, but now you find yourself unable to predict what customers will do tomorrow let alone in a month’s time. How to prioritize your efforts in a time of crisis? Below, you can find 5 things to consider for your program in a crisis.
Keep calm and monitor satisfaction KPIs fluctuations.
Your NPS, CSAT or other metric you use to track performance is on a roller coaster ride – first increasing, then decreasing. The fear of the unknown and the insecurity in turbulent times often have such an effect. We also see this with stock market indexes and petrol prices. Think of your mood and relationship with your favourite brands and products. Has it changed in the past couple of weeks? Have you been through different love and hate states? I bet you have. The same happens to your customers in crisis. The best thing to do is to monitor satisfaction, but don’t take those data points as a basis for important decisions.
Switch to digital to stay close to the customer.
Customers cannot physically interact with your brand. Your multichannel approach has narrowed down only to digital channels only. The crisis presents an amazing opportunity to digitalise stages of your journey that were far behind in your roadmap. It amazed me to see many state educational schools around the globe handling the logistics of their classes in only a week. For you, it is the perfect time to track all digital touch points and measure your performance across them–website, mobile app or browser applications. Boost your feedback collection across these channels without over surveying. Thus you will keep the close connection with your customers.
Focus on the why behind the why.
In a crisis, many things transform, and the only way to understand what is happening is to focus on the reasons behind it. You can only do this by spending more time than usual on qualitative data.
Start by reading all customer comments.
Yes, all of them–it might overwhelm you, but it will help you understand what your customers are going through. Identify emerging topics and update your text analytics coding frame to track how the volume related to them will grow. Run a rapid satisfaction driver analysis to understand what’s currently driving satisfaction.
Stay at the forefront of the change and keep your customers.
As a CX manager in crisis, it is now the time to be vocal. The customer-facing teams might be slower to respond to the new customer needs and struggles with the new ways of working. You are the one who can share the latest insights with them and drive the change.
Have the right priorities listed.
For most industries, this is keeping existing customers. It is crucial to be the closest as possible to them. Some of your customers might be already close to default. Can you provide them with delayed payment alternatives? Can you support them with additional products and services?
Reevaluate upsell and cross-sell initiatives.
Many companies have limited their external spending and become super cautious about internal costs. Your purchase funnel is already getting thin, and management asks you to identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities based on customer feedback. You wonder what to do as you feel that is not the best time for such campaign. My favourite outdoor equipment shop decided to send a daily bulletin with discounts. Feels ridiculous to get emails on hiking gear in times when I can’t even put a foot outside the door.
Rethink current campaigns and focus on helping your existing customers instead.
In a few months, you will be able to resume with sales efforts. Now’s the time to position your business as your customers’ top choice when the crisis is over.
Customer habits will change. What will remain the same will be the value of amazing customer experience.
It might turn out it is your only way to stand out and retain a premium positioning when the economy is struggling in the aftermath of the pandemic. Even if you can’t strictly follow your agenda and the recommendations above stay calm and cool down your colleagues. Inspire them to adopt new practices to answer the quickly evolving needs of your customers. Show empathy to your customers’ problem and walk together hand in hand to overcome the crisis. Be human, be real, be helpful.