Guidance for Customer Engagement in a Virtual Environment
Customer engagement is one of the most important objectives of any business. Those connections ensure customers stay loyal. But what does customer engagement look like in a post-COVID world? Here are some tips for customer engagement in a virtual environment.
Digital Channels Provide Opportunities
For any business, shifting to virtual customer connections can be challenging. If your business was dependent on in-person meetings, in-store experiences, or live events, switching to digital channels may seem less personal.
Digital channels, however, do provide opportunities for greater engagement. There are several strategies you can use to increase engagement in new and innovative ways. Modern businesses must be inventive to continue building trust with their customers. The right technology tools can certainly be a great support in executing these strategies.
6 Tips for Customer Engagement in a Virtual Environment
What actions can your company take right now to dial-up customer engagement? Let’s explore.
1. Make video meetings a regular occurrence
Video conferencing is a great virtual channel for salespeople or account managers to use to keep the relationship solid. Being screen to screen is a visual experience, which can be much more powerful than phone calls alone.
You can look people in the eye as you talk about their issues or needs. Plus, you can easily share your screen to review proposals, documents, or anything else.
2. Expand your contact center with remote employees
Having a Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) software enables your customer support team to help and assist customers from home. If you’re experiencing an uptick in customer support calls or emails, you can easily add to your team to take on the spikes in traffic.
All your customer care team members need is a connection to the internet and a headset. With sophisticated CCaaS, supervisors can monitor agents and queues in real-time to ensure quality. They can also make sure that customers aren’t left waiting on hold for too long.
3. Ensure employees are accessible to customers no matter where they are
Work from wherever is the motto of 2020. While some organizations are opening their offices back up, many are choosing to remain remote for the foreseeable future. Some companies are even making these changes permanent.
With a mobile workforce, customers need to know they can get in touch with their contacts regardless of where they are working. With a cloud-based unified communications (UC) platform, your team can take calls from their desktop or mobile phone as long as they have an internet connection. Your customers will appreciate the accessibility and continue to feel confident in your company’s ability to serve their needs.
4. Keep communication with customers coming
Creating more touch points with your customers can increase engagement. Now’s the time to check-in more often. Consider developing a series of communications for customers post-sale, such as 30, 60, or 90 days after. Ask them how they are and what you can do to help them through these uncertain times.
Besides these check-in emails, you should also clearly communicate with customers about how you’re handling COVID-19 and what you’re doing to ensure you’ll continue to meet their needs. Customers appreciate transparency and often become more loyal because of it.
5. Host Webinars or Q&As
Webinars are a great virtual event model. They can provide information and education to your audience. There are probably many different topics you could cover in a webinar. When selecting subjects, think about what would deliver the most value. Webinars shouldn’t be overly sales-y.
Your webinars could feature a customer or subject matter experts that can take questions from attendees relating to the topic. This creates an interactive element to webinars, which can boost engagement and interest. If you present a great webinar, your audience will come away assured of your company’s credibility and expertise.
6. Celebrate Customers at Virtual Happy Hours
Virtual happy hours are becoming very popular, and they offer some brevity in an otherwise heavy year. You can even send your guests a pre-party swag gift. With a robust video conferencing system, you won’t have capacity issues.
There are several activities you could use to get everyone involved. Try some virtual games (with prizes), have everyone introduce themselves, or have some of your team perform their talents. Maybe you’ve even got a team member that’s a musician – every happy hour needs tunes!
Virtual Customer Engagement Is Here to Stay
As we look toward 2021, there’s still uncertainty about the future of in-person meetings and events. The pandemic has taught us all that we have to be resilient and creative to connect with customers. With these tips, you can continue to build relationships, no matter the environment.