In 1907, Robert Baden-Powell, an English soldier, devised the Scout motto “Be Prepared.” He published his motto in Scouting for Boys in 1908 and two years later, in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was founded. A global movement was born.
In Scouting for Boys, Baden-Powell wrote that to Be Prepared means “you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your duty.” If 2020 has shown enterprises anything, it is that they should be prepared to face any challenge at any time – no matter how far-fetched something may appear. The show must go on. Business must continue.
Today, organizational business continuity plans need to be transformed into continuous plans. Arundhati Roy with the Financial Times framed it well saying “Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.” But what should customer engagement look like in this next world? How much will return to the traditional model of “eyeball to eyeball” client engagement in a brick-and-mortar environment?
What is the new normal?
A couple of facts from Accenture projections we saw in 2020 make for stark reading: come 2025 there will be 30% fewer traditional stores/branches and 70% fewer tellers/transactional employee roles. COVID-19 is creating massive shifts in human behavior and spurring end-to-end business reorientation like never before. Here at Mitto, we believe that impacts on customer engagement will be significant and permanent. There will be no full return to the old ways.
We have seen digital channel usage spiking throughout the pandemic and customer expectation levels for engagement by brands are being recalibrated on a higher plane. Convenience, ease, and customization being regarded as an individual by brands, all have become client expectation norms. Real empathy, stellar value, and reciprocity will be the differentiators. And our old favorite – trust – will become more critical than ever.
When the crisis is over, customers will reflect on how their brands performed under sustained pressure. Did they deliver on their sales and service promises and did they put safety ahead of financial priorities? In short, did they demonstrate they deserved their customers’ trust?
Building trust on digital channels
Companies both now and post-crisis need to tailor customer engagement to both reassuring and building confidence. This can only be done with ongoing reinforcement of the value of goods, services, and the organization itself. Brands creating virtual showrooms is a nifty way of achieving this but not all businesses are so lucky. Innovations such as this are set to become permanent components of engagement strategy though.
Getting the basics right is therefore critical and in mobile engagement terms, this means conversing with clients in ubiquitous channels, ones they inherently understand and feel comfortable with and of course which drive sky high engagement and conversion ratios. Think SMS.
It cannot be denied that there has been a seismic shift and digital has become the default. There has been a very real shift from interactions regarded by both many enterprises and their clients as being transactional to something deeper, more relationship-based. Business Messaging, CPaaS, and channels within it such as A2P SMS and WhatsApp Business or even new emerging channels such as Google Business Messaging, have now become critical to the existence of untold businesses of all shapes and sizes around the world.
In this new world, consistency, trust and great service delivered with a genuine, friendly air cannot be ignored and Mitto is playing a critical role at the hub of this by delivering our clients’ content around the world rapidly and accurately 24/7 – something we can guarantee you we will never lose our focus on.