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How you can use AI to engineer a new customer support strategy for a post-COVID world

Customer support strategy for a post-COVID

The banana bread came out delish. Between whisking milk and vanilla and listening to Bach, Gloria couldn’t care less about her semester exams that had been suspended until no one could tell when. She has never felt more restless in her life. Her Instagram has been a window to her latest obsessions with bowls of coconut curries, power yoga, and Ann Patchett’s books. She just doesn’t know anymore what she should be doing, so she is doing everything.

Billions like her are floundering, living their own horror versions of the movie Groundhog Day. The uncertainty of the consuming pandemic has changed lives over the last month. Scared and worried about the future, people have devised new ways to interact and engage with the world from within the confines of their homes.

For businesses around the world, this has come to pronounce the end of the consumer as they knew it. The dramatic changes in the customer sentiment, attitudes, needs, and behaviour, on account of the compounding anxiety around the virus and the subsequently shifting socio-cultural and economic orders, has forced many corporate barons to rethink and refashion their customer experience strategy.

The need to leverage the intelligence of collaborative technology to offer convenience, comfort, and empathy and reinforce reliability and trust has never felt more pressing.

From how people travel, eat, shop, play, entertain, spend to how they invest in education and homes to the level of surveillance they allow, and even to the kind of vocabulary they use to connect with a wider world every day, the markets and the world-at-large are getting dramatically reset.

It’s only unlikely that your business could be immune to the sweeping shadow of the crisis. If you, too, are already rethinking your customer support strategy, here’s a little something to begin at.

1. Interrogate and evaluate to realign your strategy

Take a moment to evaluate what your customers need and how your business can help. Even though there is a lot of pressure on businesses and brands to uphold the moral ground and act urgently, a single misstep could do irreversible damage to customer relationships in these sensitive times. Acting cogently is essential even if it entails, acting a bit late.

Ask yourself the right questions.

How are your customers engaging with your business during this time? Have you seen an increase or decrease in sales? How is your customer experience impacted?

A decline in business may be hard to combat, but it might not be entirely impossible that your customers continue to engage with some, if not all, of your business’s touchpoints.

You may even notice some of your customer engagement metrics improve over time as all activity slowly begins to unfreeze. The data will help you rightly assess what can work for you. Gauging the user sentiment about your products and services before you can start making any changes to your customer touchpoints and communications will be fundamental to the success of your newly conceived strategy.

2. Harness and monitor data to measure qualitative customer input

Intelligent AI-powered tools like chatbots, voice bots, and email bots can help your CX superheroes on the front lines — listening in on calls and replying to chat and email requests — understand your customers’ mindsets and resolve their problems.

These Conversational AI technologies collect customer data and help map customer personas, journeys, thoughts, communication touchpoints, and your service blueprints. As the customer needs and pain points change, these maps will need to be updated, and the fresh data can help inform these adjustments.

Introducing these changes is critical to staying relevant in these rapidly morphing times. Besides, measuring the touchpoint engagement, conversion, and satisfaction metrics to ensure that the right changes are being made is equally crucial. Constant measurement can create an effective feedback loop and guide you to further revisions to your strategy to ensure that your upgraded CX generates value for your business.

Also, make sure that all your teams — CX, innovation, product, marketing, and customer service, are on the same page with the updated information as new changes are brought in to ensure homogeneity and consistency of response.

3. Design more algorithmic experiences

Leveraging the right sets of data to answer specific questions can help you create more algorithmic and meaningful experiences for your customers.

A great way to start designing algorithmic experiences is to think about the relationships between intentions, interactions, and identity. Intentions are the uncommunicated but implicit needs and desires of a customer that can be inferred from their behaviour. The ways in which the customers use a platform, product, or service sums up their interaction with the business. And identity is the cognitive or emotional impact of the experience and the degree to which it has become integrated into a customer’s sense of self.

These three elements are connected and nurture one another. Anticipating a customer’s intentions helps you create more natural interactions. In turn, the algorithmic interaction itself influences the customer’s behaviour. It reshapes their identity, making it possible for the system to condense it more concretely into a profile map, to enable easy and correct anticipations for future intentions, making the interactions then more effortless, and so on.

4. Prepare for the customer that isn’t even around yet

The future customer is going to be anything but the present one. And if you don’t prepare yourself for them with the right technology and tools while you still have time and resources, you won’t have a business that is relevant to them when they do arrive on the scene.

Ten years from now, the way we experience the world will be profoundly different.

Advanced AI-powered technologies will have integrated our preferences to curate experiences and acutely personalize, for us, the moments we experience throughout our day.

As such, rather than just being responsive to the customers’ immediate needs, your business needs to develop the capabilities to anticipate what the customers want even before they’ve had the opportunity to ask for them. The next-gen tech of AI-fueled chatbots, voice bots, and email bots can augment the predicting abilities of your customer support teams and empower them to drive exceptional engagement.

We, at Enterprise Bot, leverage the power of Conversational AI to devise interactive chatbots, email bots, and voice bots. As collaborative as much they are cutting-edge, AI-fueled chatbots can serve as an immediate solution for helping your customers right now in these volatile times.