2020 has seen a rocky start for the customer service industry. The Covid 19 pandemic outbreak has become one of the worst crises we have faced in history. It has brought upon a massive disruption on the economy, with businesses forced to take sudden measures to salvage what they can from total annihilation. Incidentally, it also brought upon a sudden surge of customer requests for information and cancellation.
In times of crises, people will be desperate for any updates that might help them to get safely through the dark times. Businesses around the world were forced to maintain their customer service quality despite the numerous challenges brought during these hard times.
Now more than ever, Customer service has become an important tool for businesses to prove how much they value their customers, in both good and bad times. It is also a revelation that showed how connection with customers should be valued, rather than simply focusing on maximizing profit.
Despite the economic setback, we have seen numerous organizations that stepped up to help ease the burden on the population. Granted, they’re not making any profit from the donations. But they will benefit from a positive public image – people became aware that these businesses care.
There are several ways to maintain relationships with customers even during crises. Here are some that we think will help improve your customer service in hard times and keep your customers around for the better!
Customer Service: Satisfaction is Not Enough
Keeping customers satisfied is important, but it’s no longer enough. After all, customer satisfaction is nothing more than just a rating. In an article by Shep Hyken, a best selling New York Times author, companies often make the mistake of thinking that they just want customers to be satisfied.
What companies should be focusing on instead is gaining customer loyalty. Keep providing excellent and consistent customer experience until your business becomes customers’ first choice when making purchase decisions.
Customer Service: Support is Key
People will look for support in times of need. For businesses, every misfortune or disaster should be taken as opportunities to get closer to the general public. As an example, a local store may come up with a special purchasing period for the elderly so that they may shop easier during a controlled movement period.
Sometimes, it doesn’t require anything special to help. Be genuine in your response and emphasize that you are going to get through together. Customers will eventually hold your business in a high regard as you restore people’s faith in humanity.
Maintaining Customer Service with a Plan Beforehand
Setting up crisis plans for such emergencies will help improve customer service, even when any unforeseen disasters happen. It keeps employees prepared to handle any unexpected situation. Additionally, customers will feel more reassured when your employees can put up a calm and ordered display when facing these challenges.
Customers want to know that your business is well equipped to handle any problems and take preventive measures to keep them from happening again. From then, you will not only improve your company’s public image, but also improve customer trust towards your brand.
Clear & Consistent Communication
In particular, customers will look at how you can help them in times of crisis. As people inched closer towards the edge during emergencies, it is your task to provide relevant information through clear and consistent communication. Any information that may affect both the business and customer interest must be made clear at all times.
It is important for businesses to stay proactive when providing necessary infos. Customers should not have to look for the information themselves. Rather, it is your task as providers to bring the information to them. Utilize any channel possible – be it SMS, email, social media messages or any communication channel that customers are using.
Employees are as Important as Customers
Employees are the backbone of any business. In times of crisis, taking care of your employees is just as important as taking care of your customers. Having satisfied employees will further enhance the level of customer service that your business provides.
It all starts from the top. Managers and higher level management personnel must first show exemplary behaviors for employees to follow. Given that humans are creatures that excel with motivation, providing incentives for their services during crises will make your employees feel more appreciated and motivated to put in their best efforts.
Instead of giving up, we should all come together and contribute however we can so that we may go through any crisis safely. Businesses should take up the responsibility and never falter to provide assistance that people desperately need in these dark times. Stay strong and remember that the darkest time of the night comes right before dawn.
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