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Deconstructing ‘Business As Usual’

Innovative Solutions for Retaining Customers During the Current Economic Climate

In light of the economic downturn brought on by COVID-19, organizations everywhere are having to face tough decisions. Businesses are facing shrinking budgets, significant losses for in-person interactions with customers and often fewer staff members to manage large amounts of work. Situations like these are requiring organizations to deconstruct “business as usual” to determine where to best focus their efforts and attention.

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In order for businesses to weather this crisis, they need to make customer retention their top priority, especially now when every dollar counts so much more. 

Even in the best of times, dealership teams are resource-constrained; in the worst of times, these challenges are exacerbated. Clearly, businesses need to find innovative solutions to empower customer-facing teams, automate redundant processes and fill in the gaps so managers can focus on high-value tasks like creative problem solving and building relationships with their customers.

Fortunately, there is a technology that enables more two-way conversations with customers at scale and drives customer retention and expansion, known as an Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA).

High-performing dealership teams have their hands full onboarding new customers, managing customer health, driving customers to share feedback and offering rewards, upgrades or, in this present situation, offers that help lighten the burden.

Despite their best efforts, there is often more work than hands. It is impossible for even the most dedicated customer success representative to personally engage each of their accounts. Because of this, they are forced to strategically prioritize a customer, where a small number of high-value customers get the most personalized attention, while much larger pools of mid-value and lower-value customers are given less attention or are handed over to tech-touch and management. 

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This disparity is accelerated by the squeaky-wheel syndrome in which some of the loudest customers are in control of what they get from your customer success team rather than what you are offering them. This reactive approach to customer success creates inconsistencies in your cadences and makes it difficult for customer success managers to engage and lead their customers effectively.

A technological solution must be applied to fill in the gaps. But rather than mass email campaigns and surveys, customer success teams would do well to adopt a tech solution that delivers personalized outreach at scale. The solution is an “augmented workforce.”

How an Augmented Workforce Helps Teams Retain Customers

An augmented workforce is a blend of business professionals and intelligent automation technologies working together on tasks to get the job done. When an augmented workforce is adopted in customer-facing teams like customer success, organizations can have a direct impact on top-line growth. One such technology enabling this future of work are IVAs.

IVAs are the next generation of intelligent automation helping organizations scale human-like interactions that attract, acquire and grow customers. IVAs are accelerating revenue, while driving operational efficiency across the customer lifecycle. 

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Intelligent Virtual Assistants help customer success teams by automating many of the redundant, albeit important, tasks for managing customers. This includes everything from onboarding new customers to driving customer health, even nudging a client to conduct a quarterly business review.

AI Assistants engage with buyers throughout the entire customer journey. These virtual team members communicate back-and-forth promptly, professionally and persistently, helping to expand product usage and increase your footprint in the account.

By automating administrative tasks, determining customer intent and scheduling appropriate meetings and delivering drip messaging to customer accounts, Intelligent Virtual Assistants scale account and customer success management, thus increasing customer retention, growth and profits.

Furthermore, investing in an augmented workforce creates a more positive experience for your employees. By allowing an IVA to autonomously manage administrative tasks, chase customer meetings and message customers about features and marketing materials, you remove a lot of the capacity issues, which result in disparities in the customer success experience. IVAs allow customer success teams to be more proactive in managing their accounts rather than reactive to proverbial squeaky wheels.

IVAs are most commonly tasked with responsibilities such as ensuring new customers complete the onboarding process and encouraging product registration, communicating with customers to ensure engagement such as to schedule reviews, collecting customer feedback, renewing existing customers, requesting customer referrals and upselling and cross-selling customers.

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In this way, an augmented workforce allows for technology and people in tandem to proactively deliver the best customer experience, greater team productivity and greater customer retention.

“In times of uncertainty, having a recovery plan that increases your ability to reach customers can help drive positive interactions and enable growth.”

Following Best Practices

The success of any organization’s outreach depends on a number of factors including its promptness, persistence and engagement rate. One of the reasons Intelligent Virtual Assistants are so successful in their outreach is because they always retain these conditions in their communications. Through Natural Language Processing and Natural Language Generation, Intelligent Virtual Assistants are empowered to deliver human-like conversations at scale, making them valuable virtual team members.

Conversica’s AI Assistants always follow best practices, so dealers can be certain that messages coming from their IVAs will land in the contact’s inbox rather than in the spam or promotions folders. The assistants autonomously generate a unique subject line, a personalized greeting and other unique personalizations to make communications feel authentic. Better still, IVAs deliver quality conversations time and time again without training or significant ramp-up times.

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IVAs can also be used to handle specific situations as needs arise. In these tough economic times, your customers want to be sure they are being taken care of. Email and text message conversations autonomously driven by IVAs strike the right balance between being empathetic and informational. 

During this time period, 37% of Conversica customers were using COVID-19 specific messaging in their outreach. An Intelligent Virtual Assistant allows dealers to manage necessary communications with ease, flexibility and wider reach than via your employees alone.

Article courtesy of our sister publication, AutoSuccess.

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