Finally, we are in the last stretch of this nightmare and closer than ever to overcoming the pandemic, but not returning to normal. There will surely be before and after-effects of COVID-19. Customer Service has been molded by new standards, adopted due to the challenges of these difficult times.
During the pandemic, digital customer service has quickly escalated. Remote meetings, increases in phone calls and emails, and social networking have become the basic tools used to keep in contact with our customers – a trend that will continue even without the same restrictions imposed by the pandemic. Clients seek immediate and efficient service through “common” means of communication, so we must focus on keeping client relationships consistent and not allow them to run cold.
During these times, keeping these relationships with customers is even more important than before as companies bombard customers with ads, offers, and information. Now, more than ever, we need to keep our customers close and most importantly, satisfied.
There are a few ways to achieve this. For example, many companies have shut down either temporarily or permanently. Ensuring you have an up-to-date inventory with some overstock for items with a longer lead time can help you prepare yourself for any upcoming situations where products are difficult to source or unavailable, giving you the ability to fulfill customer demands faster.
On the service side, we also need to pay special attention to COVID-19 guidelines. As we visit several customer sites and shop areas where technicians are more exposed to the threat of the virus and therefore, could spread it, it is important to follow proper protocols.
Finally, a general increase in shipments during the pandemic has affected delivery dates (not to mention the incident at the Suez Canal) which have to be considered when giving lead times to customers. It is very important to keep on top of orders, tracking information, and keep customers updated. After all, the only thing worse than a late order is a tech on-site waiting for an order.
Tools like Customer Resource Management (CRM) systems took an exponential leap as well and remain the first and preferred method of customer management today. These provide information, reminders, and client data to keep us close to our customers throughout these challenges.
Companies need to invest in strategies that help retain their customers and increase the frequency of purchases. Social media can help here, but dedicated customer experience management will create the loyalty businesses seek..
Have you experienced any unique service challenges? Tell us in the comments section.