Enhancing the digital customer experience during unsettling times

In these difficult times, how does a company adapt and enhance their digital customer experience? The starting point is to embrace change. It is not business as usual and one cannot expect it to be. A re-evaluation of our customer’s journey and their experience is required, with a view of building agility to respond to a dynamic crisis (which may span months or years).

First and foremost, re-evaluating this customer experience requires the right tools. At Nimble, we have harnessed our voice analytics tool, Nexidia Analytics, to understand our customers’ sentiment and particularly the challenges debtors are experiencing during this lockdown period. Combining this insight with data from consumer surveys has helped us to confidently re-evaluate the customer journey in a COVID-19 world. Based on our customers’ unique circumstances we are able to tailor suitable repayment solutions that benefit them.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, physical movement has been severely restricted. Post lockdown, social distancing will become the norm. When stores reopen, the world of bricks and mortar may be fundamentally different. This means the avoidance of physical customer channels is likely to persist after lockdown.

This leads to Nimble prioritizing digital channels, such as WhatsApp, our mobile app – NimblePay, and Nimble Forms as alternative collection platforms.  This wide array of online payment methods accommodates our customers’ changing needs. It allows us to offer both convenience and safety to our customers who would otherwise fear infection, and avoid engagement with us altogether. More and more we are seeing that our customers are growing comfortable with digital, remote, and low-touch options, even in rural and older populations.

However, convincing a customer to spend money on debt repayment, and getting them through a metaphorical digital door, will remain a key challenge. Limited financial resources will remain a concern for customers who may be unemployed or face unemployment. This demands two things: Convincing a consumer that debt repayment is an important part of their discretionary budget, and that it’s in their best interest.

It requires marketing messaging that is convincing and tailored to a debtor’s circumstances. We have overhauled our SMS, Email, and Facebook marketing campaigns to take into account COVID-19. The surge in online engagement currently underway offers an opportunity to tap into insights from social media and our two-way communication platforms to rapidly understand consumer sentiment and develop new plans and offers for our customers. We have been able to offer immediate debt relief to cash-stricken customers and provide unique financial literacy to emphasize the benefits of repayment for our financially strained consumers.

Customer experience has taken on a new definition and dimension in the overwhelming challenge of COVID-19. It has led to an overall emphasis on ‘digital mass customization’, and a focus on understanding who the customer is and how we might better serve them digitally. As a business, we believe it is those who care enough to ask, and then innovate to respond during this crisis, and anticipate how customers will change their habits, who will build stronger relationships that will endure well beyond the crisis’ passing.

Written by: Swati Safeda, Chief Digital Officer

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