“It is not the time to slow digital transformation. On the contrary, it’s the time to accelerate it. The volatile environment is throwing up more challenges that can best be addressed by digital transformation, as well as opportunities that facilitate digital transformation.” – Harvard Business Review, How Companies Should Invest in a Downturn.

In an unstable economy, the digital customer experience is even more important. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed companies to accelerate their digital transformation strategy to successfully function. Now as economists predict a global recession, focusing on improving a customer’s digital experience is again going to be the foundation for mitigating problems and strengthening customer relationships.

Best Practices to Strengthen Your Customer Experience Strategy

Companies can take a variety of actions to avoid common traps during a recession. Here are some best practices to help your company get ahead of a downturn and come out strong, with happier customers:

Learning Opportunities

  1. Map the customer journey to find points of inefficiency. Evaluate the number of interactions the customer needs to make with your brand before resolving their issue. How many agents does it take to field a customer call? Are calls being routed multiple times? Are there customer inquiries that could be resolved without a phone call? Answering these questions is the first step to uncovering inefficient, disconnected processes that lead to disappointing customer experiences.
  2. Minimize inefficiencies with low-cost engagement methods. A Forrester study found that the average cost of a customer service phone call ranged anywhere between $6 and $25. Finding ways to route calls to other channels, such as text, email, or live chat, as well as self-service options, could both reduce costs and increase the efficiency of agents. Self-service chatbots don’t replace humans, but they should be incorporated easily into a customer service experience where the customer doesn’t need to repeat their issue when transferred from a bot to a human.
  3. Move to a unified customer experience platform. Be sure to deploy a channel-agnostic solution that includes AI Insights & analytics capabilities while you still have the budget to do so. Companies should look for an all-in-one platform that ties channels together for a consistent experience across channels on the front end, and offers AI-powered insights and analytics on the back end.
  4. Leverage automation and AI to make customer communication smarter. By harnessing AI-powered customer insights to identify potential issues early on, you can be more proactive with your outreach. Good AI-powered contact center intelligence can help your team identify the most common reasons that customers are reaching out to you — and it can surface actionable insights that will help you address those issues so future customers don’t encounter them at all.
  5. Focus on personalizing recommendations for the consumer. When budgets are tight, customers are only going to demand more personalized and instantaneous experiences. And they want these experiences to be delivered on their preferred platforms — whether that be Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter. AI can help companies identify patterns in shopping behaviors and offer personalized product recommendations based on this data.
  6. Don’t forget about human, personal interactions. Chatbots and automation play a critical role in a strong customer experience strategy, but they don’t replace the work that people do to resolve complicated customer service issues. Customer inquiries that are complex are still routed to contact center employees who must have the correct information at their fingertips to provide efficient, effective service that makes customers happier.

The Takeaway

During tough times, the winners that come out on top are always the companies that take advantage of the moment to improve processes and master new techniques. It’s the perfect time to accelerate digital customer experiences. Taking these steps sooner than later can help your company not just survive, but thrive when economic conditions improve.

Learn more about Sprinklr’s solutions for unified customer experience management at sprinklr.com.