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When Reducing Costs, Cutting Customer Experience Isn’t the Answer

Today’s market volatility is puzzling even the most seasoned economic minds. Inflation in 2022 reached 40-year highs. Among others, tech-sector giants the likes of Twitter, Meta, Cisco, Salesforce, and Microsoft have announced or have undergone layoffs.

MarketWatch has given three potential scenarios to consider regarding the economic downturn:

  • a short, maybe not-so-sweet recession.
  • a swamp-like, hard -to-get-out-of-the-much recession.
  • a non-event or tech-specific recession – which is a big event for the tech sector.

Whatever the case may be, this is no time to cut corners on customer experience (CX).

Companies might rightly be tightening their proverbial belts, but if you lessen CX, it’s likely you’ll reduce customers (or at least customer experience) in the process. Let’s consider ways to keep your hard-to-earn customers not only satisfied but happy.

When facing financial difficulties, consumers want empathy

Challenging economic times means people are, well, challenged, but not just financially, but also mentally, physically, and emotionally. Nearly one-third of Americans will rely on this year’s tax refunds to make ends meet.

A dozen eggs, which cost an average $1.47 this time in 2021, are closer to $4 a dozen today. Along with rising grocery bills, the price of dining out is expected to rise. Year-over-year rental price growth is expected to reach 8.4% as of May 2023.

Amid economic uncertainty, consumers want empathy from the brands they conduct business with. Our most-recent CX study, Channeling Happiness:  State of Consumer Experience Report, found 71% of brands believe they can improve experiences through better understanding customer preferences, expanding data usage and delivering greater personalization. But brands must also weave empathy into those experiences.

In customer service, this means putting yourself into the other person’s shoes and responding accordingly.

Consider outsourcing CX to relieve cost pressures

According to our study, 70% of consumers surveyed describe customer excellence as either a strong relationship with the brand or one that evokes a feeling of happiness.

Economy aside, people expect excellent customer experience — it is integral to their journey with a brand. Delivering exemplary CX involves listening to the customer, personalizing interactions, responding promptly in their channel of choice, and keeping your brand’s promises.

Doing so does not necessarily mean ramping up internal staff. Rather, in today’s environment, it could mean bolstering your staff through a third-party CX provider.

Although companies can benefit from having in-house CX agents, many also realize the advantages of outsourcing. Most significantly, outsourcing may help organizations reduce costs or relieve cost pressures while supporting scalability and demand fluctuations.

As well, in an uncertain market, outsourcing allows for support flexibilities without the concern of having to source, hire and onboard new staff (whether permanent or temporary).

Tips for finding an excellent CX provider

If you decide to outsource your brand’s CX make sure your provider can bring you the best talent on the market and can act as your brand ambassador.

Here are some tips for finding the right provider:

  • Look for an experienced third-party organization that not only specializes in CX but combines the latest technology with the human touch.
  • Ensure the company you choose is able to leverage data from a wide variety of sources and formats and help action on those insights.
  • Select a partner committed to creating unique, personal journeys through human touch or across any digital channel or device.
  • Verify the company demonstrates agility, domain expertise and proven CX processes.

Continue focusing on CX

Fears of a potential recession continue to remain at the top of today’s newsfeeds. And since today’s consumers are tightening their wallets and trying to spend less, they want empathy, happiness, and great customer experience from the brands with whom they interact.

As such, decreasing CX isn’t the answer. However, if uncertain how to otherwise improve CX and deliver a positive customer, consider outsourcing to a reputable third-party provider that serves as your brand ambassador to provide an elevated experience at every interaction.