It’s a no brainer that covid-19 has brought major changes in every aspect of your customers’ life— purchasing behaviors, needs, and emotional mindset.
Whatever situation your customer faced, the value of providing a great customer experience hasn’t changed a bit for businesses.
According to Salesforce, 80% of consumers said that experience is as important as products.
After the pandemic, every brand is becoming customer-centric. But how can you ensure you are taking the right step to give them the best experience?
Well, here we’ve broken down why customer engagement will change drastically in the upcoming years, and how brands are using creative thinking, care, and empathy to enhance customer engagement.
So, what’s the wait? Let’s get started…
Customer Engagement in Pre-Covid World
If you think improving customer engagement is child’s play for brands, then you definitely have a wrong idea! Before the pandemic devastated us, most businesses weren’t aware of how to keep customers engaged for the long run.
Most importantly, they didn’t consider social platforms an effective medium to keep their customers engaged or gain profits.
If we look back in 2017, 28% of the SMBs used to spend only 3-5 hours on social media marketing, 27% spend less than 1 hour!
Before the crisis, most SMBs weren’t much aware of the term called employee experience and its impact on customer engagement.
Building an engaged customer base requires internal effort. Popular customer-centric brands like Google, Zappos, Starbucks have one thing in common; they invest massive efforts to empower employees and help them make efficient decisions regarding customer experience.
In the pre-Covid world, customer or employee feedback was a light topic. Businesses hardly invested in customer feedback software, chatbots, or survey tools before the pandemic.
However, the stress and uncertainty of Covid forced businesses to use technologies to enquire about their customer’s needs and employee’s well-being.
No matter what happened in the past, the post-Covid world will see a significant change in customer engagement.
People come first- that will be the ultimate mantra for brands. Read on to know why customer engagement will never be the same in the upcoming years and beyond.
Why Customer Engagement Will Change in the Future?
The covid-19 pandemic has left a deep impact on the customers’ mindset. Some people have lost their jobs, family, businesses, and going through a hard time.
Though everything is slowly getting back to its normal state, people all around the globe are having difficulties accepting the new normal. In today’s world, people want to connect with brands they can trust.
In this post-Covid world, you will have to pay extra attention to your customers’ preferences.
52% of customers are changing their purchasing behavior, and 65% are postponing travel and purchases. During this crisis, online shopping is booming massively.
In the future, approximately 30% of consumers are planning to shop more on online platforms. Here’s a customer engagement survey to collect an order..
To create similar customer feedback surveys or customer engagement surveys, you can create a free account on SurveySparrow for free.
The above stats are the perfect examples that customer engagement will never be the same in the post-pandemic business.
Client engagement will entirely depend on your brand’s power to understand them with empathy. Brands that understand this change and putting efforts to offer a great customer experience are thriving amid this uncertainty. One such example is Netflix.
As people are spending more time online these days, Netflix managed to gain 15.8 million subscribers worldwide and $5.77 billion in quarterly revenue.
In short, businesses have to reimagine their customer experience to increase engagement and loyalty.
However, in this post, we’ve explored some more aspects that show customer engagement will change drastically in the upcoming years and beyond. So fasten your seat belts and read on to find out more!
How Customers Engagement will Change in the Upcoming Years
1. Customer will Look for Real-time Communication
In the upcoming years, customers will want to do business with brands that have omnichannel communication. That means your business should have multiple communication channels for the customers to keep them engaged.
Customers will like to purchase from a company that cares about their time and finds accurate information in one place. This is where omnichannel communication comes into the picture. It makes the customer experience pleasurable and convenient.
Businesses are focusing more on customers’ preferences.
Today’s customer cares about getting better services before purchasing from their favorite brands. Good customer service holds power to transform potential consumers into leads.
For instance, modern customers prefer chatbots over texts. That’s why small to large, every business is investing in chatbots to ensure customer engagement remains intact.
AI-powered chatbots are available 24/7 to give real-time responses without wasting any valuable time. It is expected that the chatbots market size will grow up to $9.4 billion by 2024.
2. Increasing Value of Authenticity
2020 was an eventful year! From pandemics, social issues, to the environmental crisis, the whole planet suffered a lot. And this moment opened the eyes of many businesses. In these trying times, several brands start to recognize the value of trustworthiness and transparency.
Social media holds a powerful place to showcase a brand’s authenticity and transparency. People use social platforms to share their voices, taking stands for their beliefs.
Similarly, they expect brands to take stands, speak up, listen to their audience. The recent Black Lives Matter movement was one such example where brands showed their support. Spotify used its platform to amplify its voices by changing its logo and headline color to black. They also personalized playlists and podcasts to stand with black creators.
In the post-pandemic world, the need for brand authenticity will grow immensely. That means brands have to build their personality, communicate with their audience, to define the values they hold.
Covid forced people to look exactly where they are investing their money. They want to know more about the product you sell, missions, where you’ve come from, and why they should purchase from you.
The point is, you can’t remain silent about the issues your customers care about. Thanks to social platforms, millennials accept authenticity and courage from their trusted brands. And if you fail to make them trust you, your business could suffer gravely!
3. Brands are Showing Empathy
According to a 2020 study, 71% of respondents reported that if they witness a brand is putting profits first than people, they will lose trust in that brand forever.
In the future trust and empathy will be the most important factors to influence customer engagement. And the best part is, brands have recognized the importance of showing empathy to their customers.
Take the example of one of the largest supermarkets in the UK, Sainsbury’s. During Covid, it introduced people with a shopping hour, especially for the vulnerable and elderly customers. Sainsbury’s announced that it’d open their market for an extra one hour to serve the vulnerable customers.
Another notable example of the brand’s showing empathy is Amazon. Amazon has donated 8,200 laptops to public schools in Seattle.
Their goal was to help students get proper education during the pandemic. Other brands like Nike, also put people first by donating care products, money, for frontline workers, and nursing foundations.
4. Personalized Experience
Personalized services will rule the marketing world in the post-Covid world and beyond. It can help you to increase customer engagement effectively.
In fact, 80% of people prefer to do business with a company that gives their consumers a personalized experience. Businesses are using their customers’ first names in emails, surveys, newsletters, and social media platforms to boost customer engagement. In fact, personalized, engaging surveys have a 40% response rate.
Several brands track consumers’ data to engage with them. They track their appointments and transaction data to inform them about news, new products, and services.
Popular brands like Netflix are taking their personalization process to the next level by showing the right recommendations and innovative offerings.
For instance, Amazon Prime Wardrobe asks customers to complete a survey about their clothing style and fitting preferences. And Amazon’s stylish team will provide personalized recommendations from millions of clothing items.
5. Changes in Employee Engagement
You may wonder, why are we talking about employees while discussing customer engagement? Well, the reason is, employees and customers are connected with each other.
One change in employee engagement can massively impact customer satisfaction. After all, providing a great customer experience is not a one-person thing; it takes a whole team to acquire, engage, and retain them especially after the covid-19 pandemic businesses have to invest more time and effort in their employees.
More and more companies are shifting to remote work these days. But employees are having a hard time adopting this new remote work life.
According to Prosper Insights, 22% of people said they feel anxious about being confined to their house. They feel isolated, depressed, or 19% of them worry about money-related problems. If employees are unable to stay engaged in their work, then who will serve the customers?
That’s why brands are putting attention on measuring their employee engagement to provide a better experience. They are conducting surveys, offering benefits, loyalty programs, and health benefits to ensure employees are satisfied with their company.
For example, a California-based IT farm, Workday, said they would offer two-weeks of equivalent pay to their employees to cover expenses resulting from remote work. They also announced plans to establish a relief fund to help them if they contracted covid-19.
On top of that, several companies invested in organizing webinars related to mental health, wellness programs, physical, and mental health therapy to their staff.
4 Ways to Adopt New Changes in Customer Engagement
There’s no doubt that businesses are going through a massive change in present times. Without the ability to adopt these new changes can cost you a lot.
But wait, we have some hacks or rather say customer engagement solutions for you. So, follow these solutions to renovate your customers’ experience and engage them with your brand:
1. Leverage the Benefits of Technology
The way customers behave and their needs are changing rapidly; companies should leverage the benefits of technology. Advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, CRM, machine learning, feedback software, etc. are helping brands to improve customer engagement.
There are hundreds of ways technologies like feedback software, and pulse surveys can help to measure customer satisfaction. These tools will allow you to optimize customer acquisition, improve retention, and enhance customer loyalty.
As people are spending more time online, the first thing they will notice about your business is a primary medium like a website.
So, it’s your responsibility to give them an enjoyable experience while surfing. You can embed chatbots to offer them extended support, collect feedback, and resolve queries.
With Customer Effort Scores (CES), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS), you can ask what customers feel about your products and businesses. If your customers face any problems while using your services, you can listen to them using these metrics.
2. Pulse Surveys to Track Customer Preferences
Traditional surveys consume a lot of time to collect answers and results from the customers. That’s why pulse surveys are the right choice to track your customers’ preferences.
With the help of engaging surveys, you can reach out to your customers to provide genuine support during the crisis. Encourage them to share their experiences with your product or company’s service.
If they have any needs or feedback, they can easily share it on pulse surveys.
You can anonymously take online surveys so customers won’t hesitate to share their honest opinion SurveySparrow’s survey software is one of the most effective customer engagement platforms.
This tool helps build personalized surveys using variables, piping logic, contact params, custom params, and expressions.
Just like your customers, you must care for your employees too. In the upcoming years, surveys will act as a savior to understand your employees and customers.
In pulse surveys, you can ask about your employees’ emotional well-being and physical health to ensure they are happy to work with you. The best part is, you will get the answers or data in real-time. So, pulse surveys will definitely help you to level up the customer engagement game.
3. Customer Experience of Safety
Every B2B and B2C businesses are reimagining the safety approaches for their employees. From touch to low-touch, and now the zero-touch processes are being integrated through advanced technologies like chatbots, Tap to Pay Cards, etc.
For example, financial and banking organizations are now implementing OCR or optical character recognition technology to complete the KYC(know your client) or account creation.
Even in-store pickups have changed their reading devices to QR scan or Tap to Pay. Physical seminars, meetings, brand collaborations are going digital.
Now customers fully depend on digital platforms. So, brands are focusing more on protecting their clients’ safety and privacy while connecting online.
4. Connect with Customers
Customer behavior is changing due to the pandemic, and companies need to grow with the change. They have to research how customers are purchasing, from where, and how they are getting all the information. And nowadays, you can witness most of the user engagement in digital platforms.
From shopping to collecting information, people depend on digital channels. To maintain customer engagement, companies should connect with them where they are- on the digital medium.
However, connecting digitally doesn’t necessarily mean creating a website or launching a new application. Brands have to connect with their customers by bringing their services to their homes.
For example, during Covid SurveySparrow stepped out and offered free accounts and an exclusive self-help portal to their customers.
With the help of this self-help portal, SurveySparrow managed to help state and local governments, NGOs, employees, to connect and communicate effortlessly. Other organizations are also helping customers by offering free services, trials to maintain relationships.
Wrapping it up…
Covid-19 has traumatized billions of people all over the globe and changed our whole lives. It has changed the way we work, communicate, do business, and perceive life.
We started to realize that nothing will be the same in this post-Covid era. But, every bad thing in life comes with a positive aspect, and covid-19 is no different.
This pandemic is like a wake-up call for every business owner out there. It taught them the value of customer engagement.
Maintaining customer relationships during a time of crisis will help to form long relationships with their customers. Businesses that listen to their customers show empathy and have more engaged customers.
Lastly, we can say that successful businesses are all about satisfying customers.
It’s true that customer preference is changing rapidly, and the sooner you adopt the new normal, the better it will get. That being said, does your business have the right strategy to improve customer engagement?
If not, then this is the right time to take some action! So that your organization can thrive too amid all the crisis and uncertainty.