Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) were hit especially hard in 2020. Around the world, SMEs struggled to manage lockdowns, travel restrictions, health concerns, and more. According to IBISworld, it may take up to five years for the industry to return to pre-COVID performance levels.
It became evident over the past year that the customer experience (CX) has become a significant brand differentiator. Many SMBs have been challenged in the past year to pivot their CX operations from an afterthought to a strategic imperative. From e-commerce growth and direct-to-consumer models to virtual workforces and digital experience overhauls, firms need to manage customer support costs while innovating to meet post-pandemic customer needs. To survive and thrive, they are taking advantage of extended credit and other loan programs to make investments that build resiliency and strength for today as well as tomorrow. They are looking to invest in smart ways to grow their businesses fast and meet this unique moment.
Even though SMBs may not have enterprise-level staffing needs or budgets, they still face the same CX challenges as larger firms. So what can they do to strengthen their contact centres while also preparing for the future?
For the SMB market, it’s all about flexibility and speed. There is no time to figure out how to scale customer care internally. That’s why progressive hypergrowth and SMB firms partner with TTEC Agility to deliver flexible outsourced contact centre technology and support backed by decades of experience. Here are some ways we have helped SMB clients accelerate growth during the pandemic:
- Where’s my stuff? With everyone stuck at home, e-commerce enjoyed a boom last year. But many SMBs aren’t prepared to support the volume of enquiries about products, shipments, and other parts of the customer journey. Our omnichannel approach mixes speed and convenience of automation for simple enquiries with the empathy and context that humans can provide for more complex interactions to reduce costs and deliver amazing experiences at scale.
- Should I stay or should I go? The travel industry took a beating in 2020, and uncertainty continues as last-minute closures and re-openings leave people perplexed and unsure about their travel plans. Messaging, website alerts, and other proactive communications offer low-cost automated outreach via SMS or other digital means to keep customers aware and to deflect calls into customer support.
- Agile employees power growth. Need a quick ramp of chat agents to support surging volume? Looking for WhatsApp support for Milllennial customers? Agility also applies to the employee experience, where highly engaged, skilled associates can switch from voice to chat, email or other digital channels and back again as client needs change.
As the world sets its sights on a post-pandemic era, the CX challenges will only increase. Working with a partner like TTEC Agility to provide scalable, nimble customer support gives companies the confidence to face any uncertainty knowing they have the tools, technology and expertise to deliver superior customer experiences and drive future growth.