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How the new normal is reshaping Customer Experience

The customer experience (CX) is the primary force behind a brand’s competitive advantage, customer acquisition, retention, and engagement. As we live amidst one of the worst global pandemics, customer experience tools are more critical than ever. According to Deloitte, 39% of consumers say they will purchase more in the future from brands that responded well to the crisis.
The first thing we need to establish is this: What do today’s customers expect in the new normal? And, how can brands deliver engaging customer service? The answer lies in leveraging multiple technologies and industry partnerships. Read on to find out how your brand can enhance your customer experience in these critical times (and beyond). 

Understanding the “New Normal” Customer

Adaptability and innovation are indispensable aspects of a robust customer experience strategy. In 2020, as the pandemic forced countries around the globe to go under complete lockdown, many businesses evolved due to changing customer expectations and how consumers interacted with them for products and services. It is no secret that companies can flourish on the hinges of how well they listen to their customers and react accordingly. 
During lockdown in the US, UK, and other parts of the world, customers have changed their shopping habits. As fewer people visited stores nearby, the majority of them preferred online shopping. 
According to research by McKinsey, 73% of consumers have changed stores, brands, or the way they shop during the pandemic. The study also indicates that 25% of customers have tried a new private-label brand. Similarly, Inmar Intelligence reports that 79% of customers have bought groceries online during the pandemic, which is a significant jump from the previous year (2019). 
More and more customers preferred to use digital channels in 2020 as they did in the previous year. Social media use also witnessed a jump, and this trend appears to continue. Due to the changing consumer behaviour and shopping habits, brands that rely on traditional customer experience strategies will need to adapt to the new demands and cater to customer service with innovative digital tools. 

How to Deliver Exceptional Customer Experience In 2021 (and beyond)

Here are a few ways brands are evolving their customer service efforts:

Adapting Contactless Technology

One of the revamped customer experience tools is to implement contactless technology. This strategy is particularly effective for food-based businesses like groceries, including perishable items, cooked meals delivery, and other companies. Self-service shopping or contactless delivery can also improve sales while maintaining safe social distancing protocols. 
Businesses that have not adapted to digital shopping with contactless delivery should take the necessary steps to change how they do business in the new normal. Digital customer experience is more critical today than ever, and it is here to stay for a long time.

Building Brand Trust Through Digital Channels

The COVID-19 pandemic has left lasting changes in the consumer market. However, customer satisfaction goes hand-in-hand with a compelling digital experience. To meet and exceed customer expectations, brands need to establish a trusting relationship with customers. 
Customers in the new normal are shifting towards digital channels to get information from businesses with minimal in-person visits. Companies that have not already adapted to improve their digital customer experience should implement an omnichannel approach.
The omnichannel approach is all about using more digital tools to enable an in-and-out customer experience to establish a trusting bond between business and consumer. The new digital strategy should also include prioritizing a solid customer feedback loop. An omnichannel digital approach will allow companies to reach out to customers on multiple platforms including social media and helpdesks with ticketing systems for swift customer service.

Using Digital Transformation to Reach Customers 

Digital transformation is a term that defines innovative approaches that firms must take to offer a seamless customer experience. Some companies embraced the tools instantly and reaped benefits despite the pandemic. In contrast, others who failed to adapt to digital transformation are left to drag their feet in a competitive market.
According to a report by Google and the Connected Commerce Council, more than 50% of small business owners report using digital tools to communicate with customers, find new customers, and sell products and services during the COVID-19 crisis. The study also suggests that 80% of the new small business owners are interested in learning more about digital tools to help their business move forward. Communication and collaboration in the new normal will ultimately lead to a better customer experience. 
A prime example of how digital transformation helped a brand is the US-based retailer FILA. Despite the pandemic, FILA successfully implemented digital transformation tools and witnessed a 212% growth to date, suggests Capgemini.
Brands should make an effort to bring their services and customer experience to a new level. For example, offer free samples or trials of your product or service online. Such a small investment could lead to better sales with improved customer experience.

Altering Business Model

As life continues in the new normal, companies must change their existing business models to a direct-to-customer or D2C model. The D2C strategy is fast becoming a popular route for manufacturers and CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) brands to enter a new market directly, instead of through a middleman or entity. 
The D2C business model is gaining traction as customers show more interest in subscription-based orders and direct purchasing options from the manufacturer. Digital savvy B2B firms have shifted towards a D2C model during the pandemic. Some companies have created websites where customers can order wholesale products with dropshipping options.

Bottom line

Successful company-based partnerships are vital in implementing strategies for enhanced customer experience in the new normal. As businesses must rely on new technologies, establish a strong partnership with a reputed customer service tech expert that introduces you to a plethora of new tools.
At Helphouse, we only partner with the best technology providers to optimize your digital customer journey. As one of the leading Zendesk solution providers in EMEA, we offer full-service customer experience consultancy. Our team of industry experts will provide you with the tools and technologies needed to support your customer needs. Our partnerships will allow your business to flourish in these testing times through an innovative IT-based customer service model. Some of our leading partners include Aircall, Solvemate, Surveypal, babelforce, and more.

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Talk to one of our sales representatives about how we can elevate your company’s customer experiences.