March 20, 2020 | Shannon Latta

Listen and Act in the New Now: Best Practices for the Long Term

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We’re living and working in an unprecedented environment right now—and it’s creating a mix of business and social challenges. Staying aware of and responding to customer and employee needs is so important. In the face of many unknowns, some core principles can ensure you understand and meet new and shifting expectations, and help both groups, internal and external, in a difficult time.

Forrester perfectly summed up this new perspective in a blog post this week, saying organizations “need to understand customers in this moment.” It’s important to add employees to this call to action, given the disruption many of them are facing. These four pillars will help you calibrate your listening and response efforts by leveraging capabilities in the XM and CX tools you already have.

Amplify your digital resources

With stores and branches closed, and contact centers likely experiencing long hold times, digital is your direct and immediate link to customers.

  • Create a central hub with a landing page or microsite where you can post executive messages, special offers, policy changes, new store hours, etc.
  • Update existing listening posts. Consider appropriate messaging for invites, emails, surveys,
    thank-you pages, etc.
  • Make up for location and contact center reductions by gathering additional feedback and monitoring with text analytics.
  • Leverage internal digital channels to incorporate employee communications and listening.

Benefits: Immediate access to customers and employees for listening, communicating, and managing expectations.

Connect your listening

With many physical stores and branches temporarily closed and customers at home, your digital channels and contact centers are likely experiencing usage spikes. That’s a lot of input. When you bring together speech and text analytics, digital survey responses, and other listening post findings, you’ll have detailed insight into what tasks your banking or utility customers are struggling with, or what information your retail customers need most from your app or website.

Shift listening to understand immediate needs:

  • Change sampling logic and segmentation efforts to collect on vital customer-care touchpoints.
  • Reduce focus on target market and brand assessment studies.
  • Consider reducing sampling percent and collect only the minimum required a month.
  • Add dedicated opt-in feedback for the duration of the situation.

Connect feedback:

  • Gather detailed insights into customer struggles and needs using speech/text analytics, digital survey responses, and other listening posts.
  • Funnel information to the right teams with alerts, monitors, and distribution lists.
  • Expand program to employees. Use listening tools for two-way communication and capture unique experiences as they adapt to working from home.

Benefits: Sharpened “in this moment” insight, prioritized actions, faster and better decision making.

Be transparent and share often

Better feedback collection improves your ability to understand problems and enhance experiences.

  • Share insights internally into ongoing customer issues, resolution strategies, and timelines. Provide updates on external messages or business priorities.
  • Keep customers updated about new resources, announcements, and known issues and resolution timelines. Be consistent, transparent, and available for feedback.

Benefits: Improve expectation management, reduce contact center calls, let customers and employees know they are being listened to and informed, help your org act with a unified message.

Learn more about supporting your employees with our Working @ Home solution being offered at no cost. For more details on using the full value of Experience Management tools to listen to and support your customers and employees during this unprecedented period, contact your account team.

About the Author

Shannon Latta is vice president of marketing and communications for Verint ForeSee, responsible for brand and positioning, content strategy, product marketing, corporate communications, and marketing results.

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