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COVID-19 causing sea change in CX programmes, study finds

Organisations have fought against major disruption to their customer experience strategy throughout 2020. 

30th Oct 2020
Editor MyCustomer
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Sea change

Nearly all organisations have made major changes to their customer experience strategy as a result of Covid-19, a new study from Precisely and Corinium confirms.

Customer Experience in a Post-COVID-19 World interviewed 100 CX leaders around the globe to find that 90% had had to change the approach to their CX programme in the wake of the global pandemic.

Of these respondents, 25% said they had ‘totally reimagined’ their strategy, whilst 33% said they had made major changes.

Unsurprisingly, at the centre of the sea change has been the provision of digital channels to customers.

A quarter of organisations expect to “fully eliminate their bricks and mortar presence” in place of 100% digital alternatives, whilst demand for omnidigital experience has increased significantly among customers.

50% of respondents said customers now expect more seamless, integrated digital experiences, with major investments in new digital touchpoints at the heart of strategic change, including chatbots with live takeover functionality, chatbots that use Natural Language Processing (NLP), digital self-service platforms and interactive and personalised video.

Journey disruption   

At the heart of many CX strategies is customer journey management, and Corinium’s research establishes that major disruptions have occurred in most customer journeys since coronavirus began.

Nearly 50% of onboarding journeys have experience major disruption, whilst 40% of marketing and sales journeys have been significantly affected too.

Journey disruption

The disruption to customer journeys is once again driven by a transformation in customer behaviour towards the digital – 79% of the research’s CX leader respondents had seen the volume of customer interactions on their websites increase.

59% said they’d experienced more customers using their apps, whilst 57% were receiving more queries through messaging platforms or chatbots and 50% said their call centres were processing more calls.

“We’re seeing a lot more adoption and attempts at digital adoption,” explains Nino Ocampo, Global Head of Open Banking and Customer Preferences at HSBC, in the Corinium report.

“For example, our digital channel transactions have gone up a lot in the UK, because we are a high street brand.” 

“The pandemic has accelerated the digital shift dramatically, increasing timelines from years to a matter of months,” says Greg Van den Heuvel, EVP and GM, Precisely.

“These data-driven investments are about engaging people in a personal and interactive way – across different channels of engagement – to ensure they get to the answers they need quickly. It’s about making the complex simple.”

Stop start

The demand for digital touchpoints from customers has been mirrored by the demand from employees too, as organisations continue to grapple with the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus, and the stop start nature of localised and national lockdowns being introduced around the globe as new waves of the virus take hold.

In a recent podcast for MyCustomer, David Hart, customer experience manager for car manufacturer Kia, highlighted how important being able to adapt to constant change was likely to be in the future.

“The first phase of lockdown was about planning was actually rethink our cx programme and how we would reengage with our customers and how we would use our field team moving forwards. Now it’s about covering all bases to ensure that we remain connected through the organisation as things change. It’s sharpened our thinking.

“It’s about trying to make those connections within your business and ensuring that CX is the voice of the customer throughout the business. It should define what a company does and it should be at the centre of a business and inform senior management teams what actions should be taken in terms of listening to customers, evolving to meet their expectations and ensuring that a CX programme remains at the heart.

“CX is now even more important than it ever has been. There’s an emotional engagement and meeting the emotional needs and practical needs of a customer are so important now.”

 

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