10 March 2021
How to provide a stellar customer service during Covid-19
The pandemic has caused a massive disruption and left a mark on both consumers and the customer service during Covid-19. Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company or a startup trying to get off the ground, Covid-19 has changed the way brands do business and the way they provide customer service. We’re witnessing huge shifts in consumer behavior. Just as importantly, customer service departments have changed their operational structures and how they function to accommodate the new paradigm that’s wrought by the pandemic. The long-term implications of this new paradigm are still unclear but we know this: until everything gets back to normal, customer service departments have to embrace “the new normal” and adapt to the changing customer behavior.
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The times are shaping the customer behavior
Customers aren’t spending as much as they were before, and they will keep their spending down for the foreseeable future. As the world economy has taken a big hit, unemployment rates are rising and its aftershocks can be seen every day. This economic uncertainty has led many consumers to shift their behavior to a more frugal and value-oriented lifestyle.
Consumers are using online channels more and more. Covid-19 has accelerated the need for online access to products and information. They prefer to – or in most cases, have to – shop online for what they need, abandoning their physical purchase habits. According to Paysafe, 18% of consumers have started shopping online for the first time during the pandemic, and this figure is 25% in the US and 21% in the UK.
They’ve also changed the way they prefer to communicate with the companies they buy products from. Chat support systems and social media use has grown significantly in this period. This includes chat widgets on shopping websites, social media posts, and instant messaging apps. Focusing on providing customer service during Covid-19 through these channels is more important for your brand than it has ever been.
◊ Tip: You can add a live chat widget to your website through Desk360 integration and provide live support to your customers while gauging the benefits of a synchronous communication model. Click here to try Desk360’s live chat widget for free.
The opportunities of the pandemic: What can businesses do in light of this crisis?
• Ease your customers’ financial burdens: People might be safe from the virus at home, but not from financial troubles. When dealing with financial challenges, aiming to provide flexible solutions to your customers can and will build trust. For instance, not enforcing late-fees or service termination for a couple of months will go a long way with your customers.
• Show your efforts to your customers: Focus on providing a great customer experience because if you don’t, someone else will. If you’re cutting costs, you should consider the long-term consequences. Cost-cutting is sometimes inevitable. But if the expenses you cut have a direct effect on your products and the customer experience, your customers will notice that and it’ll affect your bottom line in the long run. If you have to cut some corners, do it in a way that the clients and customers won’t see it. Don’t give your loyal customers a reason to look elsewhere.
• Loyalty: In times of crisis like this, customers take notice of a company’s efforts on user experience a lot more. The quality of these company-customer interactions can linger way after the crisis is over. As we’ve stated above, people aren’t spending as much because millions are furloughed or lost their jobs outright, and they’re trying to get the maximum value from what they have now. The customer service needs to be aligned with this sentiment, meaning that providing users with the utmost care and delivering a stellar customer service during Covid-19 will create a very loyal customer base.
• A cohesive omnichannel approach: If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to get into the world of omnichannel customer service. Lockdowns and curfews still happen, we’re not out of the woods yet after all. People are using social and IM channels more than ever, and your brand must meet them in those spaces. Investing in a cohesive omnichannel platform lets you turn every comment or mention in social media into a support ticket so you’ll never miss a chance to interact with your customers.
While the world is making progress, the battle is far from over. Should we assume that this new-normal is the new normal? It’s too early to say. But it’s safe to assume that the digital connections you make with your customers now will be much more valuable in the future. Head on over to desk360.com to start providing your customers with an omnichannel customer service experience and connect with your customers at a dee