Study finds consumers expect better customer support in the “new normal”
To better understand how COVID-19 and its impacts are affecting customer engagement, we asked 289 Americans distributed across age groups, gender, and regions about their experiences with customer support during these unprecedented global events.
A majority—58.5 percent—required support since the beginning of the pandemic for everything from resolving medical bills to water heater repairs and e-commerce shipments that arrived broken.
The underlying message? Consumers are still looking for timely resolution of issues—and are not always getting it.
In a matter of days, every business had to change to embrace social distancing due to COVID-19, which, in many cases, meant moving employees from offices to home offices, bedrooms, or kitchens.
It’s unclear what the next chapter holds for many businesses, but what is clear is that consumers are still looking for support and issue resolution.
Learn more about how this transition is impacting on-premise contact centers.
Embracing this new normal …
Contactless delivery and BOPIS: How retailers can adapt to serve consumers amid COVID-19
On-demand apps led the first wave of a shift to contactless order fulfillment. As brick and mortar retailers begin to reopen for BOPIS and contactless delivery, we look to examples from app-based experiences that show how every business can adapt, in this on-demand webinar.
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the first companies to adopt a contactless delivery offering were mobile applications like grocery delivery app Instacart, with its Leave at My Door Delivery option. Offerings like this weren’t necessarily intended to meet demand caused by shelter in place orders, but widespread interest quickly grew regardless.
Dozens of other app-based services rolled out similar offers, but as more retail and dining locations—and especially those relying on physical brick and mortar storefronts—come back online, there are lessons for every business, both-app based and not, that can help promote a safe shopping experience for consumers and …
Companies building the new normal during COVID-19 and beyond: Case studies from United Way, QVC, and many more
As the effects of COVID-19 continue to reverberate through our markets and the world, it’s becoming increasingly clear we’ll all be dealing with the pandemic’s impact for a long time.
In many ways, the coronavirus pandemic has been a driver of innovation and change, as organizations sort through ways to maintain and improve customer engagement despite the challenges they’re facing.
New use cases are cropping up. Customers are changing their preferred communications channels—and they want to hear from you. Organizations that can react quickly to this changing demand are building deeper relationships that will stand the test of time.
We’ve identified seven ways businesses can tailor their communications and customer engagement to meet their customers’ needs better throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Scroll to find examples of how leading organizations are doing …
Financial services and COVID-19: From response to recovery
The COVID-19 pandemic has created both a global health crisis as well as a major financial and economic one.
Thankfully, the financial services industry, the banking sector in particular, is in a much healthier financial position than it was during the crisis in 2008.
Banks are now seen as part of the solution, and are working with the government to help deliver relief. We see the industry’s engagement with the crisis unfolding in three phases: the response, adaption to the new circumstances, and growth through the creation of new models of service and engagement that reflects the post-COVID-19 reality.
While digital transformation has been a focus within the industry for close to a decade, we see COVID-19 fundamentally making digital channels, products, and services a must-have—not only to serve existing customers, but also attract new clients and grow.
The last global crisis of 2008 accelerated the growth and innovation …
How COVID-19 is impacting retail and how it will shape the industry’s future
As the effects of the coronavirus continue to unfold, retailers are adapting their business continuity plans to suit current and anticipated changes to rapidly changing consumer preferences and spending patterns.
E-commerce is dominating retail
Industry-wide, the global pandemic is accelerating e-commerce’s takeover of retail. A recent UBS analysis predicted that COVID-19 will immediately increase the online portion of total retail sales from 15 percent to 25 percent per year.
Brick-and-mortar storefronts are finding their direct-to-consumer (D2C) footing as online shopping across all products and services grows in popularity: one-third of Americans bought groceries online in March, and tens of millions of them did it for the first time. Similarly, American restaurants now make more than half of their revenue from delivery, drive-through, and takeout.
As retail further transitions its sales and engagement to e-commerce, consumers continue to expect communication on …
Communicating with customers in the time of COVID-19: Real-time lessons from consumers
Just as consumers are adjusting to sheltering in place, working from home, managing homeschooling, and navigating previously benign tasks like buying groceries, companies also face a myriad of unknowns. It’s not business as usual, but one thing is certain: customer engagement is just as important today as it was before COVID-19 began its spread.
The question is how to engage. To learn more, Twilio asked a sample of US consumers what their experience has been, and their preferences. We heard from 244 Americans distributed across age groups, gender, and regions to help inform thoughtful, consumer-first engagement.
Consumers value critical updates, but also expect leadership from companies.
We asked respondents to tell us what they want to hear from the companies they value. The most compelling option, rated as “high” interest by 53 percent of respondents, was critical updates about material changes to availability of their products and services.
“My rec …
Putting the person back into personalized customer engagement
Perhaps not recently, given current social distancing guidelines as a result of COVID-19 and the coronavirus pandemic, but for the sake of imagination: Have you ever walked into a clothing store and had an associate immediately offer help, accurately guess your size, and pull some items together that met your needs?
On the occasions when I have, it’s been fantastic. What seemed tedious became enjoyable. It took less time than I’d anticipated while also feeling far more relaxed. And, I undoubtedly spent more money than I would have on my own—happily. I’ve sought out those stores and those associates again. I’ve sometimes even made a new friend.
All of us have had similar experiences from time to time, regardless of the type of purchase involved. When they happen, everybody wins. As customers, we feel like we’ve spent our money well. The companies that we’re doing business with have sold us …
How travel and hospitality companies can engage with customers and strengthen bonds during COVID-19 travel bans
COVID-19 has sent the entire world economy reeling.
The echoes of this crisis will continue in the weeks and months to come, but for some industries, hospitality, in particular, the pain is immediate—and acute.
As consumers heed the expert advisories to #stayhome, canceling planned travel and putting off future plans due to uncertainty, travel and hospitality organizations have an opportunity to keep their customers engaged and relationships strong.
An effective, mindful customer engagement strategy is even more important in the unusual times we find ourselves in, as consumers are being inundated nonstop with updates and the often-overwhelming 24-hour news cycle. Companies must focus on shipping wanted, valuable communications to customers and prospects—not a bunch of inbox bloat.
While the flood of “Our Response to COVID-19” emails was certainly necessary for many companies, some come across as opportunistic. Take, for example, a decor company that sent me a COVID-19 update simply …
How 3 top retail and eCommerce brands lead CX from the contact center
Brick-and-mortar retail and eCommerce, once considered rivals, are now two sides of a unified strategy to engage customers through the entire customer lifecycle. And, between in-store and digital shopping experiences lies the hub of customer communications: the contact center.
Today, customer loyalty is heavily based on the quality of customer experience—often more even than the product or good itself. Retailers who prioritize self-service, proactive alerts, and guided customer support provide the kind of customer experience that promotes customer loyalty—namely, characterized by personalization, real-time notifications and messaging, 24/7 customer service, secure payments, and the flexibility to communicate with customers on their preferred channels. Here are leading examples of retailers who are designing experiences centered around ease, speed, personalization, and convenience for customers.
Marks & Spencer uses speech-to-text technology to get customers where they need to go, faster
Marks & Spencer’s AI-powered Interactive Voice Response (IVR) with natural language processing (NLP) …
The channel doesn’t matter: Get and keep customers with a channel-agnostic approach
We are approaching an era where unified communications networks are possible. This means moving from omnichannel to channeless (perhaps even channel-agnostic) due to the technologies that are available to create this unbroken matrix of communications media.
What that means in practical terms, is that a customer can communicate with a company in any way they want without concerning themselves with the channel. They’re fully focused on the message and the communication.
To give you an example of the difference, imagine looking at an email with a phone number in the email, giving you the opportunity to call from the email. Tell me which example you like and which you don’t.
- You click on the phone number in the email and you’re taken out of the email and into a new window, where a new app, like Skype, opens in order to make the call.
- You click on the phone number …