In the midst of this pandemic, brands face the challenge of continuing to deliver an effective customer experience, even from a remote working environment. Getting the right messages and content to customers is of utmost importance during any time, but especially now when there is so much uncertainty. By putting the correct systems and protocols in place, both the company and customers will be better placed to adapt to the current environment.
Adolfo Hernandez, CEO at SDL plc, the intelligent language and content company, provides some tips on how brands can ensure they continue to deliver excellent customer experience during this testing time.
A clear voice and consistent messaging is needed to communicate to customers successfully. During this period, ambiguity can arise if content is confusing or disjointed. Clarity matters, never more so than now when people seek solutions amidst significant uncertainty. Communication through emails, documents or website content should feel like it is natural and coming from the same source.
Digital experience is also fundamental during times when everyone is more dependent on digital to connect and communicate. If the experience is not good, then this can have a hugely negative impact on a brand. By leveraging the benefits of an intelligent content management solution, brands can unite the way they create, translate, and deliver their content. It enables them to streamline communication to customers, employees, prospects, partners, influencers, investors, and any other stakeholders globally. The added benefits of an intelligent content management system is that content can be tailored and personalised to each customer throughout the brand relationship. Capturing the attention of customers with relevant, personalised content will lead to better engagement, a better buyer’s journey, and add to the overall customer experience.
Communicating with others can be difficult when working in a remote environment. Without the luxury of face-to-face meetings, companies have become reliant on email, video conferencing calls, instant messaging, websites, and blogs, as well as other forms of virtual, online communication. More so than usual, the customer journey is heavily dependent on the ease of navigating through the company’s website, the simple discovery of information and content, as well as easy ways to engage and communicate with the ability to connect when required. When trying to reach an increasingly disparate customer base in a globalised world, it is vital to install a bespoke, localised approach. Customisation and personalisation help to build strong relationships with customers no matter where they are in the world.
Putting the customer first is more important than ever, even if that means providing more digital support than normal. A big part of customer experience is customer service. Customers should feel like they are part of your community and can come to you if you they have any problems. Listening to your customers is equally as important as talking to your customers to make sure they are heard, to ensure they remain happy, supported, included, and cared for.
One way of providing round the clock customer support is having an online resource hub dedicated to offering key information, news, and guidance for customers to troubleshoot their own problems while also for finding out more. At SDL, we have many methods to engage with customers but have more recently created a whole page dedicated to COVID-19 that includes news, articles, blogs, webinars, and FAQs, which provides a go-to place for customers, employees, and other stakeholders to get support. Online support functions can also be automated in this new world, however the value of human interaction should not be neglected. SDL provides community forums, where customers can join a dialogue with like-minded people with the same interests to get the support they need while also online networking.
Whilst we are all trying to continue with “business-as-usual”, there is no escaping that this is an unusual time and working practices are not the same. Instead of expecting processes to run like normal, companies should embrace the challenge and find ways to acclimatise to this new environment, particularly through digital methods.
SDL is a global brand with offices in 39 different countries. With this, come the benefits of learning from each other and sharing our different experiences of this testing time. In particular, we have been making a conscious effort to listen to our colleagues in China, who are ahead of the rest of the world in this pandemic. Whether it is learning from their remote working best practices, or the most efficient tools to communicate, our company is ensuring that we are constantly learning from each other, in order to provide the best support to our customers.
There can be short- and long-term benefits that emerge from this pandemic. In the near-term, if companies in themselves are cohesive and show collaboration, this will likely shine out to the customer, positively impacting their experience. Over the longer-term, brands that are agile and embrace the challenge of a transforming working environment, can utilise disruptive technologies, making them more resilient and well positioned to drive future growth.