Customer Service and the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 altered daily routines, caused financial hardships, and consequences of social isolation have been among the effects of the pandemic. Businesses continue to struggle in maintaining customer service through the COVID-19 pandemic and maintaining standards that represent their goals and principles.

Below are the factors that affect the customer service industry due to Coronavirus Crisis:

1. Shortage of workers

According to a survey conducted by television providers NBC and Telemundo, 75% of respondents reported that customer service has gotten worse through the pandemic.

According to economists, changing demographics like aging and retiring workers, as well as immigration controls and demands for greater compensation and flexible working conditions, are all contributing to shortages.

For businesses, the pandemic’s impact on customer service has been challenging since it affected the normal flow of their services and productions due to a lack of workers.

2. Quality of service

The quality of providing efficient customer service has been the top priority of businesses. Customer satisfaction has been crucial since the supply and demand of all the products and services worldwide have been affected by the pandemic.

According to Hubspot, 93% of customer service teams say customers have higher expectations than ever before.

The massive inquiries received from customers can be overwhelming leading to backlogs, affecting the quality of service to customers.

Mental and physical health are serious aspects to consider in order to improve the quality of customer service of businesses without neglecting the well-being of their workers.

90% of leaders reporting that customer expectations have increased to an all-time high

(Shrivasta 7)

3. Brand reliability

Customer service reflects the reliability of the brand. Allowing customers easier access to products or services strengthens brand loyalty, but customers question the reliability of the brand if they’d experience poor customer service. The feedback/reviews of customers via social media posts have a powerful impact on the brand. Social media can make or break a brand because of its wide audience reach and influence consumers’ purchase decisions.

Forrester reported that customers are increasingly preferring to interact through digital means, according to 55% of respondents. A major challenge is that businesses must provide a strategic plan to keep pace with changes in order to satisfy their customers through their preferred type of customer service.

Digital Marketing: Strategic Tool in Communicating with Customers

Regardless of the size of your business, excellent customer service must be at the center of your business strategy. Businesses greatly increased the use of digital technology to match the demands of their customers and improve their customer service satisfaction.

Digital marketing can be used as a strategic tool in communicating with customers because people are spending more time online through social media for business and pleasure, events have moved online, and the digital economy is booming.

Examples of digital marketing include:

  • Content Marketing
  • Digital Advertising
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM)
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Email Marketing
  • Marketing Automation

The changing times have brought a big adjustment to how we live, especially now that we’re living in the “new normal”. The COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted by various governments around the world, but still has tremendous, long-term effects on our lifestyles.

The pandemic basically transformed the way we do business. Businesses were pushed to think of new ways to deliver excellent service to their customers. Many businesses have moved their entire operations online.

With the advancement of technology, there are drastic changes in all industries to keep up with the trends like in the customer service industry.

Let’s take a look at the top customer service trends to see what adjustments you should make in your own business to guarantee that you’re prepared for the future.

1. Humanized digital customer experience

Customers want to know that their situation is significant to you and that your agent is invested to resolve their inquiries/problems. They want to feel that they are seen and understood. According to Salesforce Research, 66% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations.

Customer engagement should not feel like your team is using a one-to-many approach because every customer has different circumstances. This is when AI’s power plays its role.

You can personalize every interaction with your customers with AI like providing assistance depending on the customer’s browsing history on your site, offering targeted tutorials about the products and recommending relevant products, and sending special offers based on previous purchases.

2. Rise of Chatbots

For good customer service, speed, precision, and reliability are essential. Chatbots are becoming more intelligent and advanced. They are increasingly being used by businesses to automate areas of the customer experience. Cost-effective and becoming more efficient as you rely less on service agents and live agents.

3. Strengthen Customer Experience

What you do affects your consumers’ opinions and their decision to return or not, from browsing the site to speaking with your agent and obtaining the goods or services you offer. As a result, providing an excellent customer experience is fundamental to success.

4. Face-to-face video assistance has become more popular.

Live video chat enhances the online or in-store customer experience while also boosting customer relationships. Due to its real-time nature, it’s one such option that provides clients with a rich sense of presence as well as highly collaborative conversation. Brands gain greater conversion rates and sales as a result of deploying a video calling service.

5. Self-Service Made Possible

Some people prefer to address difficulties independently. You will empower your visitor by providing resources online like FAQ page and through the help of Google and other browsers they will just search to find solutions.

To summarize, technological innovation empowers businesses to engage customers and meet their expectations for a consistent customer experience regardless of location or channel; especially as we’re living in the “new normal” that has affected our way of life.

Your customers just want you to understand their needs and provide them with the answers to their concerns in a manner that saves them time and effort.