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adapting to post pandemic CX challenges

customer care leaders are facing a perfect storm of challenges: call volumes are up, employees are leaving and harder to replace, and digital solutions aren’t yet delivering on their full promise. add rising customer expectations and decades-high inflation to the mix, and it’s easy to understand why customer care leaders are feeling the pressure.

the stakes couldn’t be higher as teams try to adapt to a postpandemic era of customer care. McKinsey’s 2022 State of Customer Care Survey has found that customer care is now a strategic focus for companies. respondents say their top three priorities over the next 12 to 24 months will be retaining and developing the best people, driving a simplified customer experience (CX) while reducing call volumes and costs, and building their digital care and advanced analytics ecosystems.

with challenges on all fronts, the question now confronting leaders is how best to prioritize investment across the people, operations, and technology aspects of their customer care strategies. knowing where to focus or what to do first isn’t easy, and businesses need to move quickly. companies that don’t invest in this area face the possibility of further talent attrition, customer dissatisfaction, and even loss of market share.

traditionally, customer care talent has been regarded as cheap, easy to replace, and relatively low skilled. but with call volumes growing and calls becoming more complex to resolve, these employees now require more strategic consideration.

with three out of five surveyed leaders citing attracting, training, and retaining talent as a top priority, businesses are looking at ways to build a better organizational culture. two of the most effective ways to do this—according to customer care leaders—are to find ways to motivate and build trust with employees and to encourage leaders to listen and act on employee feedback.

in an increasingly digital first environment, customer care is fundamental to how organizations interact with their customers. leaders in this field are asking, “how do we create a better, more personalized experience through digitally enabled services?”

organizations are planning to increase digital interactions one and a half times by 2024. the top three areas identified for investment include tech that improves omnichannel and digital capabilities—for example, chatbots and AI tools—automated manual activities in contact centers, and advanced analytics capabilities.

despite digital tech taking on more of the burden for customer service interactions, human assistance will likely remain an important driver of overall CX, especially in the moments that matter. customers want fast, efficient service, but they also want personalized customer care, whatever the channel of engagement.

Source: Customer service excellence in 2022 | McKinsey