3 Tips for How CX Can Navigate Uncertainty

The world is balancing on the scales. The recession, cost-of-living crisis, and the war in Ukraine have created a tipping point in customer service. Figures from Gartner show that 81 percent of marketers responsible for customer satisfaction say that in two years their companies will be competing almost entirely on customer experience. At the same time, customer satisfaction has declined: 48 percent of customer service managers have seen a drop in customer willingness to buy, repeat purchases, and retention rates as a result of the potential recession.

Consistent and high-quality customer service is difficult to sustain, and during this uncertain economic period, customer spend and retention are declining. It is clear companies need to shift their strategies. Customer service that allows your company to connect with customers on a human level is critical to ensuring consumer priorities are met.

Strategies that include the human touch at the forefront should be the main focus in all areas, including digital transformation and technology. Even resource sourcing can benefit from an intentional focus on hiring people who like people. To navigate the road ahead, there needs to be a willingness to explore new models to reverse this decline in customer satisfaction. But how can companies achieve this while reducing costs?

1. Focus on human-led customer service.

Most customers are looking for empathy, connection, and genuine support during times of hardship. As we navigate the increasingly digital world, the human aspect might slip through the cracks, but it remains an integral part of business, especially when it comes to customer service.

AI-powered chatbots have become a key component of the customer service experience. Bots perform a whole range of tasks to solve a host of customer service challenges, but they cannot provide the human touch.

As part of the customer journey, incorporating strategies that focus on human support could help balance the scales. This involves empathetic and genuine support that chatbots cannot mimic.

Companies offering this deeper level of support will gain an advantage over their competitors. Forbes' Customer Service and CX Trends for 2023 report predicted that consumers want to do business with companies they can trust. It further goes on to say that customer support departments are extremely important for generating revenue. If companies communicate with people the way people desire, they will increase their chances of retaining customers, building brand loyalty, and achieving brand advocacy.

2. Champion flexibility to navigate fluctuations in the market.

In an economically uncertain climate, customers are likely to spend less, impacting the market as a whole and your business specifically. Adaptability is a key to survival in this climate. Despite the rise of AI-powered chatbots, it's important to adapt to the availability of new technology while ensuring you focus on the human aspect of customer service. If you do not embrace flexibility, you're more likely to fall behind on customer service and satisfaction.

GigCX is a flexibility-by-design model that is significantly changing the customer service sector. By building a pool of talent through a GigCX platform, made up of brand representatives from around the world, companies can use this pool of resources when needed. Tasks are distributed to a crowd of GigCX experts with the flexibility to answer help requests when they want. It's a mutually beneficial setup.

3. Adopt brand advocates to manage customer service.

Using representatives who are passionate about the brands they love has created a breakthrough in customer service. Companies are turning to their own customer base to find help.

These are users who are expert customers themselves. They are enthusiastic about the brand and retain unparalleled knowledge and passion for the product. This is an excellent way to include super users in the conversation and show their value, while improving service for more casual users. This model is advantageous for many reasons, including less need for expensive training, higher customer satisfaction rates, agility of the service model, and cost savings. Having a resource pool that can keep up with demand and scale down during slow periods is key to preventing issues in the workforce.

As the balance shifts, the main benefit of this model is that these brand representatives can offer enhanced customer service. Having experienced the same things at one point, they know what customers are feeling, what they want, and how they can best support them.

To survive this time of crisis, companies must make empathy, authenticity, and human connection pillars of customer experience. Inevitably, there will be peaks and troughs in demand, so having a model that can manage varying customer inquiry levels and staff fluctuations is critical. To balance the scales and improve customer satisfaction, companies need to develop a flexible pool of resources that can rise and fall with the demand so there is less concern about staffing .

Adopting GigCX gives companies flexible, agile, and authentic customer service, and brand advocates enhance the customer service experience by providing that much-needed personal touch.< With this in place, your company can tip the scales in your favor.

Roger Beadle is CEO of Limitless.