On Friday, November 27, it's Black Friday. If you are in the e-commerce business, you are probably already experiencing a duality of emotions. On the one hand, the anxiety to sell and win the market. On the other hand, be prepared to serve your customers in great volume and quality - which can be a nightmare, especially in a year like this pandemic, in which consumers started to pay much more attention to the experience with brands.

For SMEs, it was an especially challenging year. Those that maintained their operations started to give importance to investments in digitization and use of technology to (re) get to know customers in depth and establish a relationship of trust with them. After all, the Brazilian consumer is among the most loyal in the world: 9 out of 10 say they become loyal to a brand that offers good experiences, as shown by the Zendesk CX Trends 2020.

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Data from Zendesk show that the volume of service tickets for these merchants in August was already 80% higher than last year, well above the average of the Brazilian market in general in the same period, which increased by 54%. Already prepared with the much larger volume that reached the market this year, Black Friday will be for some an opportunity to put all this technological and CX learning to the test and still compete side by side with the big retailers.

Is it worth participating? The data can tell you

Before any decision to embark on Black Friday, take a step back and assess whether the operation as a whole is ready. In the same way that a good loyalty experience, the same study shows that 8 out of 10 Brazilian consumers can change brands in the face of a single bad experience.

The best way to have a holistic view of your structure is to look through the data. Today, this has become an important standard for any industry, especially for digital businesses. However, it is necessary to adopt analytical tools to work with this data and to identify behaviors such as, for example, the journey of customers with certain products or events.

There are companies that operate with products or services so specific that it is not worth reducing their price to enter the euphoria of data. Be careful that the discounts offered do not hinder your company's profit margin. Having the right data at hand can be a formidable strategy for making this type of decision.

Chat in real time with your customers

There is a huge opportunity to talk to customers on the same channels they use to talk to friends and family. After all, that's where they spend a good deal of time. Therefore, SMEs should provide instant communication channels for their customers, such as WhatsApp, Instagram DM, Messenger, chat and voice, which are easy to access to answer questions quickly. Added to this is the immediacy of this discount date, where prices fluctuate in a short period of time and consumers want quick responses.

With this year's pandemic, Brazilian e-commerce chased this type of channel. Only from WhatsApp, until August there was an increase of 147% in the adoption of the channel in relation to 2019. The use of social media in customer service reached 130% higher in July for electronic retail. Although already a trend, social isolation accelerated this adoption and customers liked it. The proof of this is that these channels have the highest average level of satisfaction compared to any other, reaching 98%.

For them, it is important to know that they can talk to the brand and not just rely on a unidirectional channel for complaints or praise. Therefore, work on the technological front to offer in these channels resources such as self-service (eg, intelligent help centers and FAQs), Artificial Intelligence and automation to solve simpler issues. However, be aware that for more complex cases, customers still want to talk to a human attendant who is empathetic and knows his journey.

It is also important to keep in mind that, while you are taking advantage of a new channel with your client, there is a limit to not invading his space. You must be extremely relevant, with personalized information and know how to limit the use of these channels so that the control of the conversation remains with the customer.

Have a service team prepared with the right technology
When we are talking about Black Friday, one of the most common movements that we see from large retailers is the temporary hiring of service agents to speak with customers. However, especially for SMEs, the entire team is involved in service together with the leadership and does not have large temporary hires. And the secret of good service is not in having a larger team if the time it takes to solve consumer problems remains high; or if they are concentrated in channels and areas where their consumers are not looking for contact.

In the CX Champions: How CX Leaders who raise their game are driving business success survey, launched in October this year by Zendesk and the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), it was found that half of the SMEs that are leaders in CX project a significant increase in spending on tools and resources for the support team in the 12-month period, in addition to offering more training to the team.

Therefore, it is important to direct dedicated teams to the right channels and provide them with tools that can help them quickly find and share customer history information, as well as an integrated CRM platform so that different departments can engage in the conversation. with the customer and help solve their problem. If teams are smaller, it is especially important that they have the possibility to chat with the same customer between channels, without losing the conversation history or that the attendant needs to open several tabs and windows to make inquiries. Having a single place to access everything makes the operation much more agile and productive.

And if your team is in remote operation, don't worry. Support tools facilitate integrated team work. Leading CX SMEs have had 7,8 times more success in the transition to remote work than start-up CX companies.

Customer journey should be at the center of strategies

This date is also an opportunity for SMEs to leverage the customer service and experience culture in the company. By placing her employees, even those who do not work in the areas of sales and support, to speak to consumers, she encourages the empathy of the team as a whole in solving customer problems. According to the same survey by Zendesk and ESG, 42% of small and medium-sized leaders in CX see the customer experience as a critical part of the business, which is why C-levels engage daily in support metrics.

Placing the customer at the center of the business strategy has become an important growth factor for companies and this attitude should be clear in their online shopping experience. Factors such as website design, ease of finding products and completing purchases, customer support, deadline and delivery rate must be well planned to delight the consumer. Remember that this may be the first time that he closes a virtual purchase with your brand, so this whole shopping journey is, in addition to your business card, an experience that he can repeat and also recommend to other people. .

The world has changed and investing in the digital customer experience has never been more necessary for the survival of companies. The growth of e-commerce is expected to continue in the post-pandemic and each commemorative date is an opportunity to position the brand so that consumers feel good about buying from it. Being aware of these changes and implementing them in your company is the best way to retain and win new customers and thus continue to generate business.