COVID-19 has placed incredible strain on organizations to adapt and respond, with two distinct stages. First was the need for crisis response and immediate survival, and we saw organizations go ‘all in’ on these all-consuming challenges.
From a customer engagement perspective, common patterns emerged in how organizations initially responded.
Blasting all-you-can-eat updates
Organizations turned on the ‘updates’ tap, generating a huge increase in broadcast “what you need to know” email blasts, blog posts and service status updates.
Providing short-term relief
Short term measures, such as temporary pricing, fee suspensions and broader compliance relief, were offered to support customers as well as reduce churn.
Responding to massive digital adoption
Customer adoption of digital self-serve channels rapidly increased, as physical channels became inaccessible. Previously hard to reach segments finally made it to digital channels.
Now we’ve entered the next stage, where organizations are tackling the even more complex challenge of rebuilding.
We’re seeing that stop-gap solutions rushed in during the initial COVID response are often unsustainable and need reworking. Adding to the challenge, most organizations are faced with fewer resources with which to operate. For marketing teams, customer support teams and digital channel owners, this creates immense pressure to re-think, challenge, and evolve your customer experience.
As we’ve been working alongside customers during this time, the teams leading the way are those that refuse to stand still – focusing on what they can control and improve right now. Today.
We’ve seen three simple activities make the biggest impact, as they continue to evolve from hard-to-action and impersonal mass communication to bite-sized, frictionless in-app messaging.
1 — Ask every customer one simple question: how can we help?
Your organization, like most, probably fired up your writers and cranked out boatloads of help and advice content. Some who did so have carefully monitored what was well-received and what was not. But very few have actually reached out to customers – directly, individually – and simply asked what help they are missing that your organization could provide.
This simple act and a willingness to listen will provide incredible insight into how your customers are coping, and where precisely you can help.
Some of our customers are using Atomic to pose that question; quickly, simply, securely, directly inside their digital channels. As a result, they’ve instantly collected customer feedback and have been able to get ahead of any issues.
Who needs to hear from you the most? Start there, start today, and evolve. Don’t send a 50-step survey. Don’t offer a chance to win a prize. Just ask: how can we help?
2 — Turn off your worst-performing SMS message
Remember the huge cost savings that came from retiring direct mail or paper statements? Now think of your SMS, particularly old transactional messages that churn away each day. There’s always one, if not a handful, of old SMS messages burning through your budget, not to mention customer goodwill. Make it your mission to find and squash those worst-performing messages. Not only will your budget get relief, you’ll create room for smarter, more useful customer communications.
Pro-tip: check your analytics. If you don’t have the capability to track every SMS and push notification, it’s time to get on it immediately. If you do have the capability, finding and turning off the lowest-return, lowest-impact SMS and push notifications should take only minutes out of your day.
3 — Choose one way to push your existing customer data and marketing platforms harder
It’s tempting to focus on long-term “big fix” replatforming right now. As strategically important as that is, chances are you can squeeze more value from your current customer data and marketing platforms right now (as in, today).
Here are two ways we’ve seen our customers deliver immediate gains by leveraging the data, processes, and platforms they have in place already.
Use your customer data and marketing platforms to initiate in-app interactions
Your marketing stack is a powerful customer segmentation tool and it can do more than fire off emails. Use its built-in eventing triggers to send messages to customers while they’re already active inside your apps. You have the customer-channels and you have the eventing tech, so look for smart ways to connect them (we can help!).
Pipe digital channel analytics back into your marketing system.
Refine and improve your targeting and message delivery timing by leveraging real-time data from digital channels. Your channels will already be collecting data, but are they sending it to your customer data and marketing platforms? Your digital team will be able to take action on setting this up.
We all know you can’t fix everything overnight. This year more than ever, it’s crucial to take small steps every day. Focus on what you can control, solve what you can solve right now… and refuse to stand still.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Atomic can supercharge your existing digital channels, we’d love to talk. Only Atomic can help your customers get things done in one tap, increasing your customer response rates and engagement instantly.