Organisations have faced a source of disruption unlike any in recent memory. In the coming months and years, the ability to be agile and quickly adapt to changing demands will be critical to business survival. Fortunately, there are ways to begin digitising interactively to achieve impactful outcomes with less effort.
- Create a digital transformation roadmap
Create a plan or a map of digital initiatives and their calculated return on investments. Look at the strategic drivers of your business and voice of the customer data. Begin identifying the critical activities that will produce positive customer experience and business benefits with digital tools, such as chatbots, AI-enabled associate tools, cloud-based self-service and more. Prioritise the projects with the most significant impact on operations today and leverage those projects during a crisis.
- Increase savings with conversational messaging
Customers want to communicate with a brand the same way they would contact friends and family over a messaging platform quickly. Messaging is direct, immediate and reaches people with context in the moment. Consumers like messaging because they can conduct conversations with brands on messaging platforms they already use, such as Apple iMessage, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp at their convenience. Businesses like messaging because it increases customer satisfaction and is more cost-efficient than high-touch channels like voice and live chat. Get customers comfortable with messaging with your brand now, so if there’s ever a need to reach them in a crisis immediately, the communication platform is already in place.
- Automate strategically
Identify automation processes that reduce customer and employee effort. Let’s say a crisis forces an airline to cancel hundreds of flights and passengers looking for new options flood its contact centre. A chatbot that understands customer intent, such as to rebook a flight, could gather flight data on the backend and automatically serve up the best options, so that the agent can focus on listening to the passengers with empathy, quickly rebook them, and increase customer satisfaction.
- Eliminate inefficient knowledge sources
There’s no excuse for unnecessary time-consuming operations, such as requiring agents to navigate multiple screens to find the right information. Instead, set up knowledge sources that are easily accessible—for both customers and employees. For customers this could mean building FAQs with a dynamic search function and interactive reviews and ratings to bring the best answers to the top. For employees, artificial intelligence can serve agents the right information in real-time while they’re assisting customers, enabling them to quickly and efficiently resolve issues.
- Automate analysis for faster insights
Companies need to be prepared for spikes in customer volume during a crisis. AI-powered automated analysis helps organisations sort through massive amounts of data quickly and accurately. Automated analysis can identify a contact driver (e.g., a natural disaster is triggering a wave of hotel cancellations) and find effective resolutions that match customers with the best response (to match reduced demand or offer upgrades to guests who rebook rather than cancel).
- Reimagine employee learning
A digital transformation is only as effective as the employees who have the right skills, knowledge and training. Working with a CX partner to implement the latest digital and cloud-based learning methods and resources can get employees up to speed quickly on topics and communication channels if there’s an unforeseen situation.
- Look to the cloud for flexibility
When widespread emergencies prevent employees from working in the office, a backup strategy that enables them to work remotely is critical. The right partner can help companies implement technology such as cloud, automation and remote VPN to maintain operations and systems remotely or provide staff that can be scaled up or down as needed.