A huge story covered by the CX Today team this week was UserTesting‘s eighth annual CX Poll results, which made for interesting reading. Among stats like 60% of respondents admitted that their organisation doesn’t have a formal CX strategy, there was a nugget of information that both baffled and intrigued me. This was that 70% of those surveyed reported reductions in spending or workforce resources due to business changes caused by the pandemic.
Now, the above figure is of course understood. The first reaction to any business when the COVID-19 pandemic hit was shock – as it was for us all – and then began to scaling back. Businesses were faced with extraordinary decisions to make to protect their organisations, particularly before furlough schemes and the like were brought in across the globe.
But cutting workforce management spend and pinching the pennies was to be frank, a terrible decision plan. Firstly, live agents need to be able to adapt to a working from home environment to do their jobs properly. An investment injection to enforce this would prompt seamless CX, which bring me to my next point. Keeping customers satisfied is what will keep a business or brand ticking over more than ever during the pandemic. Shutting down funding is a counterproductive move that when teamed with the mayhem of setting live agents up remotely would negatively impact any business.
Janelle Estes, Chief Insights Officer at UserTesting, said in our article: “We have been through a year unlike any other where organisations have had to adapt to changing customer needs. The past year has shown that organisations must prioritise customer understanding and empathy to build long term customer loyalty.
“The takeaway for every size organisation should be that talking with and listening to your customers cannot take place only during times of crisis but should be part of regular business practices.”
She’s of course right. It’s impossible to be critical of organisations when nobody knew in March 2020 how long the planet would experience the COVID-19 pandemic. There were delays in lockdowns, COVID-19 being dubbed a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and many nations failed to take speedy and appropriate action.
But the added delay of setting up a workforce due to spending cuts only magnifies a crisis, which is particularly shocking given the poll also found that moving to online user research can cut costs by an average of 40%.
To put it bluntly, we all have to spend money to make money.