05 April 2024

Three CX strategies to help address an uncertain economy. - guest blog by Jonas Berggren

Three CX strategies to help address an uncertain economy. - guest blog by Jonas Berggren

The 2020s have been a very unusual time for anyone managing customer experience in-house or via a customer service specialist. The COVID pandemic arrived in 2020, and customer service became a work-from-home process overnight, which also led to an enormous review of security protocols; then, the post-pandemic world brought a leap forward in the quality of artificial intelligence.

There is never a dull moment in this industry.

But we also need to remain aware of broader economic trends. Customer behavior is affected by confidence, so companies can see a dramatic change in how customers behave if their region lives under the shadow of a recession or other economic issues.

Corporate behavior also changes depending on confidence in the economy. When company leaders feel confident about future growth, then they will invest in innovation, and a CX strategy focused on building closer relationships with customers for the long term.

When confidence is weak or even negative, then this investment is scaled back. The focus for most customer service teams is to keep on answering those customer calls in the most efficient way possible.

This focus on cost during difficult or uncertain times is only natural - businesses have almost always been managed this way. It takes a bold leader to invest in change or innovation just as the national or regional economy is declining.

But there are some smarter strategies that CX leaders can use - rather than just saying we should do more with less. How can we more intelligently use the budget that we have for managing customer service but to get more value for the business? How do we sweat our existing assets?

There are three strategies that can be immediately applied, and when budgets are under scrutiny, it is best to move quickly and focus on efficiency:

  • Customer Segmentation: most customer service processes are very egalitarian. The first customer to call is the first to be serviced. There are some industries where this is not true - look at gaming for a good example. A player that is spending regularly on a game will routinely be prioritized when they need help, compared to the players that are using the same game for free. These players are known as ‘whales.’ Companies from different industries can consider this strategy as a way of rewarding their best and most loyal customers - so the customers that really matter see a considerable difference in how they are served, and those that spend very little just get a more basic level of service and attention. This prioritization costs very little, but it will be noticed by the customers who really matter to your business. Impress the customers that count.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Automation: The quality of AI and automation has improved a lot. This means we can use it to create new and improved IVR, voice and text bots. With AI-powered real-time automated translation, we can now support our clients in any language, whether they contact us through phone, email, chat, or messaging. The AI-empowered workspace makes things easier and more efficient for our agents. Also, generative AI insights can assess all customer interactions, automating scoring, sentiment analysis, and reporting. This helps us with revenue, customer experience, and compliance risk management. With these, you can do more with the same team and keep improving our customer experiences.
  • Focus on Value creation: Think carefully about your entire customer journey and determine where engagement and interaction can help a customer make a purchase. This could be by designing a strategy to avoid abandoned shopping carts through proactive engagement with customers or specific training for agents focused on identifying upsell and cross-sell opportunities. How can you use all that customer interaction to drive up sales rather than just answering support questions? In many cases, the sale of a product or upgrade can be the answer to a support question - the agents just need to understand how.

All these strategies can be applied quickly and without a large upfront investment. They are ideal for a customer experience strategy where the budget is under pressure - they can allow a manager to achieve far more success and value from the same team with the same budget.

The US has dodged a recession. The IMF expects modest growth across Europe in 2024. In general, the economic indicators are starting to become more positive, but this is after several years of uncertainty and with many elections scheduled for 2024 - 64 countries and the EU all this year.

A more positive future is on the horizon, but this year remains uncertain for many companies, meaning they will be focused on efficiency and stability. If CX executives can offer smart strategies that increase value without increasing the cost to serve each customer, then they can keep on proving the value of the CX team to the business. Do more without costing more

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Written by Jonas Berggren, Head Of Business Development NE

Jonas Berggren joined Transcom in 2020 as Head Of Business Development Northern Europe. Prior to this, Jonas was the co-founder and partner of Feedback Lab by Differ. Earlier in his career, Jonas held the position of CEO at Teleperformance Nordic.

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