To say that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world would be an understatement. It’s changed how we work, learn, and interact, as social distancing guidelines have led to a more virtual existence, both personally and professionally.
The number of in-person interactions has dramatically reduced, and alongside everyone scrolling, swiping, talking, texting, sharing, and downloading – the role of connectivity and communications has taken center stage. Many businesses have started to increase their reliance on digital channels and have invested more resources into accelerating the pace of their digital transformation, seeking solutions for connecting their employees, customers, and partners in a remote environment, and relying heavily on CPaaS providers like Plivo to do so.
Even prior to COVID-19, Communications Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) was becoming mainstream for businesses to stay ahead of customer expectations without having to overhaul their existing IT infrastructure. It’s a low-risk, pay-as-you-go cloud solution that enables businesses to conveniently and instantly connect with their customers.
Now, during this post-COVID period, we’re seeing an even more increased demand for real-time communication, with the expectation of a 24/7 multi-channel experience, especially as it relates to sharing critical information, scheduling appointments, and receiving essential services.
Here are a few ways businesses can meet new and constantly changing customer expectations to create better experiences and drive loyalty in the upcoming year.
Proactively reach out to customers
Proactive outreach is key for maintaining customer relationships and promoting customer loyalty. From health systems needing advanced communication with at-risk patients to retailers needing to handle delays for supply chains, SMS API solutions can automatically contact individuals or groups via text interaction, auto form-fills, and response tracking. CPaaS can enable all the critical messaging capabilities a business needs, and this kind of automation enables them to scale up quickly and reliably.
Consider an omnichannel approach
The best way to satisfy customer demands is via omnichannel, 24/7 solutions and seeking features such as intelligent-routing, IVR, and workflow automation. For instance, if a customer reaches out to your business with a texting response late at night, you can configure prebuilt auto responses to confirm receipt and provide quick responses based on the words they used. These messages can also easily be added to a queue for your customer service team to follow up on during normal business hours, which will help deliver a more personalized experience for your customers.
Offer more self-service options
Self-service tools enable customers to solve their own problems quickly. They also free up agents to handle more complex queries. With an interactive voice response system that is integrated with your CRM system, customers can conveniently open service tickets, pay bills, schedule payments, book appointments, or track order shipments. If you’re a company that receives large volumes of IT requests, you can even offer guided instructions for resetting passwords or rebooting customer applications. Whenever a customer has an inquiry that can’t be resolved with one of these automated options, you can redirect them to a live agent for more personalized solutioning.
Furthermore, implementing a skill-based routing system into your system ensures that the most qualified person, rather than the first available agent, is the one who answers the call. With the right programming, your menu can qualify, filter and route calls to the appropriate team member that is best suited to address your customer’s needs.
A CPaaS solution enables more effective communication with an organization’s customers, employees, patients or in some cases, citizens. The sophisticated tools like that of Plivo enable a fully integrated and automated experience to help scale communications and to engage and advance the user experience. Building these three strategies into your company’s CPaaS strategy in 2021 will turn your automated technology into a customer-first tool that exceeds expectations.