How strong is the customer experience that you deliver? Would you say that you’re generally doing a great job? These are the questions that executives ask themselves every day, and with good reason too as consumer expectations have actually increased during the Covid-19 pandemic. This may seem to initially be counter-intuitive. After all, most of our friends, family, and even employers have cut us some slack the past year. But apparently, we hold brands to a higher standard.
For example, the demand for contactless experiences is now off the charts. 57% of enterprise marketers that Mitto recently surveyed said it was the top request from users during the pandemic. We’ve felt it in our personal lives. The food delivery is now left on the front stoop, some brands have told customers to just keep their returns (while still refunding) and companies are ramping up e-commerce to de-emphasize brick and mortar shopping. If your company is not doing these things, you are behind the eight-ball already, and the consumers will notice.
Back to normal
There are lots of thoughts about how things will go back to ‘normal’ when the pandemic ends. Hopefully, folks will return to restaurants and dare I say take in a concert or two. But certain expectations will stay the same. Ease of shopping experience comes to mind. A lot of people love contactless experiences for example. Staying in your car while someone brings a new pair of shoes to you? Yes, please! No need to chat with anyone at an airport check-in? Sign me the heck up!
The bad news for companies that aren’t offering these covid-friendly experiences is the theory of liquid expectations, which essentially says that customers will compare the ease of their experiences across all industries. Think about one of the titans in the customer experience category, Apple. Entire brands have tried to position themselves as “The Apple Store, but for ____.”
Now again, it might not seem fair to compare apples and oranges. It’s much easier to leave a pizza on your front doorstep, than it is for Peloton to deliver and set-up a new bike in your home (for free!) but because of the psychology of the human brain, our expectations remain high and seep across to other industries.
Digital channels and customer experience
So, what is the action plan? The truth is communication over digital channels can solve lots of these problems. If we refer back to the benchmark report from earlier, marketers mentioned contactless but also an expectation of real-time responsiveness, a seamless digital experience, an emphasis on convenience, and a desire for first contact resolution.
What do those all have in common? They are all issues that can be solved with enhanced A2P messaging. Channels such as SMS can enhance contactless experiences (Hey, your food is here) products like Mitto’s Conversations can deliver real-time responsiveness and a better digital experience across multiple channels (think live chat and WhatsApp.) The entire evolution of A2P messaging was to enhance communications and simplify customer engagement.
It’s not too late now, but it will be soon. Your brand needs to re-evaluate its entire customer engagement strategy and the easiest way to do that is through a strong digital presence. Because when things ‘go back to normal,’ normal will have changed.