If there’s one area of business operations that has been left exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s customer service.
Several months on, companies are still using it as an excuse.
Your order hasn’t arrived. “Sorry, it’s down to Covid.”
You’ve been stuck listening to hold music for three hours – and then when you finally get through, it’s a recorded message telling you to send an email. “All Covid’s fault.”
Except, you did send an email and no-one responded. Or, it’s impossible to find the email address on their website… get the picture?
Customer service processes need to adapt to the new working environment – and fast.
Here’s how it should be done…
Connection and customer consideration
People love to feel valued.
Customers want to feel like they’re the most important person in the world – this will never change.
Nothing is better than speaking to someone who will go out of their way to help, someone who will sympathise – particularly at a time when the best of us are struggling.
As a business, you need to show that you understand how customers feel. Not only does it create a great impression for existing customers, it’ll draw in new ones.
How many times have you opted not to use a business or service because you read reviews saying they were rude or unhelpful? Exactly.
And it’s not about being overtly salesy, either. Just a bit of friendly chit-chat goes a long way and can actually help build trust or diffuse negative situations.
Managing customer expectations
Times are tough.
Your business might not be able to operate exactly how it did in the pre-COVID days.
People will appreciate and understand that – but you need to manage their expectations.
Businesses should take on a careful, priority-driven approach to their customer service.
Employing a virtual assistant service so you have a dedicated team member to help provide support is a great way to keep it in check. It means you can flexibly handle peaks in demand and still meet your customer expectations.
Reimagining the customer experience for a post-COVID world
Coronavirus hasn’t done us many favours. But it has taught businesses that they can streamline costs without sacrificing quality.
Shifting customers over to digital platforms is often cited as the best way for businesses to bolster revenue and provide A* customer service – but is this true?
Digital platforms can help streamline operations and offer customers with easier, faster access to products, services and payment options, and maybe even answers to any questions they may have.
But what’s missing?
A human touch.
Having some back-office support working in alongside the digital platform?
Create an infrastructure for a fast-changing environment
Offering great customer service in times of crisis isn’t just reactive – businesses need to find a way to keep exceeding expectations.
Keeping an eye on social media is essential.
It’ll give you priceless insights into customer demand and see what others, including your competitors, are doing to handle it.
Businesses who choose to develop strong social media strategies will, ultimately, do better than those who don’t in the COVID era – so if you don’t have Facebook, now’s the time to sign up.
Social media management got you baffled? There’s plenty of advice available for that.
Customer experience may have been changed by COVID-19. But there’s still no excuse to not keep on getting better.
Getting a virtual PA on board can revolutionise your customer service offering – don’t just take it from us – here’s how other people view it.