CX Keynote Speaker and thought-leader Dan Gingiss joined us for an enlightening episode of Conversations w/ Conversocial focused on what CX may look like in a post-COVID world. Here are 5 of the key takeaways from our discussion to whet your appetite before you check out the full video.
1. Why brands must embrace customers' shift to digital
Well, I think a lot of companies are starting to figure out the digital side of their business that maybe didn't exist before.
And my prediction is that a lot of that will stay. I mean, I used to be a guy that really actually liked grocery shopping, but now that I've been ordering all my groceries online and picking up, I realized that I saved two hours out of my weekend and I really like it. And I think I may continue to order my groceries online for pickup even when I don't have to.
And I've noticed that the couple of stores that I shop at for groceries online, that even in the last eight weeks, the service has gotten better. There have been enhancements, it's faster, it's easier to find pricing. It's easier to apply coupons and stuff like that. And so I would expect that you would see innovation around the digital experience with the assumption that a percentage of your customers may stay digital. And that's not a terrible thing, right?
And that hopefully is an advantage for the company, right? Because I've noticed as the grocery stores have gotten better at the online shopping it's a different model for them. And if you extend that out, say several years down and you say, "okay, maybe half of all people are now only exclusively buying their groceries online."
Well, now you have a different real estate footprint. You don't need as much space. You have different types of employees that are more, you know, shoppers and packers than cashiers and baggers and that sort of thing. And so I'd be thinking about that now. But in the meantime, continuing to innovate around where people are engaging with you digitally today.
2. What is the best way to communicate customer safety information
All the airlines immediately came out with emails about COVID and then Delta, I believe, was the first come out with a video that showed how they clean the planes. And that was so much more powerful, right?
I had no idea they used like a fogging machine that cleans the whole thing all at once, but then they also showed people wiping down all the surfaces and all that, and it was so much more powerful than just talking about it.
And I do think that that is a kind of thing, if I'm going to go stay in a hotel, I want to know what it is that they're doing and I want to see it. I want to know that I can stay in a hotel safely. I'm confident I'll be able to, but it'll really help. If they can show me what it is that they're doing and they can eliminate my worries.
So whatever business we're in, I think the more that you can do to show and not just tell is going to really help people feel safe and secure when they come to do business with you.
3. Why the future of contact centers is virtual
I work with a lot of BPOs (Business Process Outsourcers) that, you know, supply contact center agents to companies. And they're seeing the same thing. I mean, they were forced overnight almost to go virtual.
But now, as with many companies, they're finding the advantages to going virtual and a lot of companies I'm talking to are reporting that their employees are busier, they're more effective. I had a people manager tell me that she spends more time with her team now than she ever did when they were in the same building together.
And then from a hiring perspective, it now allows contact centers to find people anywhere in the world to be able to handle in any time zone versus, "Hey, we have a call center in Columbus, Ohio, and we can only hire people within a 20-mile radius who're willing to drive to work every day." It's a huge opportunity in terms of talent acquisition as well and that's why I think that for sure it's here to stay.
4. Why messaging channels are better for brands and customers
So it's really interesting. I've really enjoyed watching the evolution. So when I published my book in 2017 I interviewed one of your founders, Josh, and he was predicting at the time that messaging was going to be the future.
And then a year or two later, he came out with his book called Message Me. And here we are today. And I, who literally wrote the book on social media customer service, when I want to talk to a company, the first thing I do is I go to Twitter DM because I want a message instead. And what I found, and I always advise this to consumers that ask me, is when you go to a private message, there are so many advantages for both you and the company.
The best part for me as a consumer is it's fast. It's easy. I don't have to sit and wait for a response, you know, even [with] live chat, you're sitting there and who hasn't gotten tired of looking at "agent typing dot, dot dot." Right? You don't have to do that in Twitter DM, for example, you can leave your question and then you can go about your day.
It also has the entire history built in. So once you've shared your loyalty number or your phone number or whatever it is they need, it's there and you don't have to be asked the same question again. And we know that perhaps the number one biggest annoyance for customers when they're dealing with customer services is having to repeat themselves and I think that removes that barrier.
5. Why private resolution is better than public shaming
What I've found as a consumer is that companies seem to appreciate when you take an issue to them privately rather than trying to embarrass them publicly on social media.
And so I've found that I get the quickest responses and the best resolutions by going directly to a direct message when you use Facebook Messenger or Twitter DM, you're on the platform, right? So it'd be just as easy for you to go post something publicly, but you've made a conscious choice to go to them privately. And I feel like there's an appreciation there.
I'm not sure I could teach my parents how to use Twitter, let alone Twitter DM, but they sure do know how to text. And so as we're able to text directly to companies, for example, I think that that's a terrific way to engage and a really simple way.
I will tell you my mid-seventies, parents, you know, get extraordinarily frustrated when they have to wait on hold and my dad, bless his heart, he'll call me up and they'll say, "Man, I just waited on hold for an hour." And I'm like, you waited that long?! Like, I would have never lasted 10 minutes. How did you even sit there that long?
And so there's this patience that he had, but he never did get to talk to somebody. So I do think messaging is the future. And now the future is here.