Is a second national lockdown coming to the UK?
According to some medical experts, the dreaded “second wave” of COVID-19 cases has already arrived.
How the government will react is hard to predict, but earlier this week, a health minister said national lockdown restrictions could be in place within a few weeks.
Is your website ready for a second lockdown?
As we know from the first lockdown, events can move very quickly once cases start ramping up. There may be little or no notice before the entire UK population is stuck at home all day, every day, for weeks or months.
Thankfully, most companies now have experience with remote working - but what about your website?
Shoppers have been moving their spending online for months, but a second lockdown will only deepen and reinforce this trend.
New lockdown restrictions could easily drive unexpected surges in demand for certain products (remember the great toilet paper and pasta shortages?).
But in addition to sales, new restrictions will almost certainly generate a huge number of questions for your customer service team: Do your delivery drivers wear masks? Can you deliver tomorrow? Are you still trading?
In March many online retailers were overwhelmed by customer enquiries, but this time we should have a much better idea of what to expect. If you want a quick and straightforward way to get ready we have one bit of advice: add a Virtual Shopping Assistant to your site now.
How a Virtual Shopping Assistant helps during lockdown
A second lockdown will push even more traffic online, and create a two overlapping challenges for your customer service team:
- More traffic means more customer questions - ignore them at your peril!
- New lockdown restrictions will probably result in some complex customer service issues which need the full attention of agents to solve.
In other words, there will be some some complex customer issues which need attention, but the spike in overall inbound enquiries will make it much harder to identify them.
As anyone who has worked in customer service will tell you, a good percentage of all questions are simple and repetitive. These are easy to answer, but still take time.
The Virtual Shopping Assistant from Envolve Tech is the perfect way to remove the easy, repetitive questions from your queue. A VSA will automatically ingest information from your company FAQ pages and reply to simple customer questions quickly and efficiently. Depending on your mix of customer questions, this can cut the number of inbound questions by between 20-40%!
If new lockdown restrictions produce a spike in COVID-related questions, don’t worry! That’s no problem for the VSA.
Once a VSA is deployed on a website, the Envolve Tech team continually “trains” it to provide more and more accurate responses. When the first lockdown took effect, we were able to rapidly update our VSAs with the latest in COVID-19 policies for each of our clients.
What about sales?
Another benefit a VSA brings during lockdown is its ability to convert sales. Roughly 60% of customer service enquiries are sales related, but a sudden traffic spike will naturally divert your human agents’ attention from converting sales.
Having a VSA on your site means having a sales-focused customer service provision on your website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whatever happens in the next few months - and if we are honest, no one has any idea - your customers will always have access to answers and support.
The Envolve Tech onboarding team are experienced at integrating the VSA into most online chat technologies, and our system works on all major affiliate networks. There are no setup fees, no subscription fees, and no obligation.
Want a demonstration? Get in touch with our Head of Partnerships, Dan Amarquaye and tell him you want to make your site lockdown ready!
But act soon! As a second lockdown looms, we are expecting a surge in enquiries too!