In a remote business world - all you seem to have is the screens and devices in front of you. Your phone, your laptop, your tablet - and all of the tools and programs you have access to within them.
At the beginning of the pandemic - it was easiest to default to Zoom as the primary mode of communication for customers, employees, partners, and likewise. Virtual collaboration tools and video chat programs were a HUGE lifesaver, and for good reason. They were readily accessible, in some cases affordable, and let's face it... all the rage!
The demand for video conferencing surged in spring of 2020, with 200 million daily meeting participants on Zoom in March 200.
Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, BlueJean Networks, WebEx and similar tools saw immediate growth and adoption as well. Companies had to embrace these forms of communication to keep business moving forward and instill a sense of normalcy through video chat and connectivity.
Unfortunately - that was where the buck stopped. Because of early adoption, many customer focused programs just carried on with video conferencing as their default mode of communication.
Keeping the Customer Journey Top of Mind
But as days turned into weeks, then months, it was left up to customer experience professionals to ask the question - should we be doing more?
Of course it was a resounding yes, but the options were slim. The traditional customer experience journey consists of many touchpoints leading up to and through the actual meeting.
These touchpoints all serve as a catalyst to nurture the customer through the sales cycle and create lasting connections including but not limited:
- setting a meeting with subject-matter experts
- clearly articulating value propositions or cost benefit models
- demonstrating the product or service
- creating a verticalized representation model
- incorporating the voice of the customer
- providing valuable and industry-specific content and research
- sharing access to thought leaders
- and most importantly of all, being able to have visibility into and control of these variable touchpoints with each and every customer.
So... when it comes to remote customer experience, shouldn't these touchpoints still be a part of the process? Yes, in fact it was and is time to move beyond the 'join our Zoom' approach.
The Connected Customer
What guides a customer's journey is the desire to accomplish a task or a goal. They are willing to follow the journey where it leads them. It's up to CX professionals and briefing program experts to craft a journey that keeps the customer connected to your business and solutions at any potential outlet of that journey. This includes online and offline, mobile or desktop, video or blog, virtual meeting or on-site meeting experiences.
Fundamental to this, is the need to keep that journey as cohesive as possible through an omni-channel approach, where a customer can move seamlessly between devices and touchpoints along the way. This makes it so that each of the customer touchpoints you've built into the journey are easily accessible on-the-go and on-demand regardless of where your customer is connecting with your business.
The shift to digital has not been easy for most and is no way finished. As enterprise companies begins to open up through the remainder of this year, it is important to continue to offer virtual customer experiences to those who are unable or unwilling to travel to your offices. The same goes for employees too. Hybrid customer experience may be even more challenging than going 100% virtual - to ensure that no experience is mightier or more advantageous than the other.
Case Study: The Citrix Experience Center Goes Virtual
Citrix Virtual Briefing Platform Value Propositions
With 8 global locations (Santa Clara, Sydney, Tokyo, Bangalore, Ft. Lauderdale Paris, London, and Munich), the urgency to create a sustainable and repeatable model for their ongoing customer experience program - was of utmost urgency as soon as the pandemic hit. They quickly took stock of resources and technology available, leveraged Inpixon's virtual briefing platform, and retooled their program to provide team members with the appropriate access to processes and equipment necessary to maintain their high-touch, high-value briefing program goals.
Here are key value propositions the virtual briefing platform has given back to the team:
- Rolling out a branded, manageable, and easily accessible portal for a global briefing program and sales team
- Creating a cohesive and consistent experience for all customers, regardless of where they are at in their journey
- Supporting an environment capable autonomous customer journey with areas for self-guided education, research, networking etc.