7 Expert Customer Service Tips during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Crisis

7 expert customer service tips during the coronavirus covid-19 crisisThe COVID-19 pandemic has pushed businesses to dodge bullets and the global economy is in dire straits. While the number of positive cases increases, the negative scenarios keep piling up. 

Charles Darwin’s famous quote on species evolution stands true for today’s volatile business world- “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” 

Business adaptation is the key. Perhaps, getting customer service operations back in gear is what entrepreneurs need to shake-off the pandemic-induced slowdown.

You look to adapt and you survive; you refute and you are out of business the very next day.

However, amid the gloomy dark clouds, there seems to be some ray of hope. The good news is that CX experts from big brands are ready to spill the beans with their valuable customer service tips during COVID 19. These tips will help you keep your business operations afloat and make you ‘live to fight another day’. 

So here we have 7 CX experts to help you connect better with your customers during these challenging times. Stay tuned! 

Insightful Customer Service Tips During Coronavirus Pandemic


Shep HykenKeynote Speaker & Customer Service Expert

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As companies see sales declining, one of the first actions that leadership takes is to cut costs. While this may be a necessity to “keep the doors open,” be very careful where to cut. Try to cut in places that aren’t visible or obvious to a customer. While they will know you’re doing what you can to stay open, they will also remember any negative experience they have. This can impact their future decision to do business with you or a competitor once we ramp back up to “business as usual.”

“Any negative experience can impact your customers’ future decision to do business with you or a competitor once we ramp back up to “business as usual.”Tweet this


Claire Boscq-ScottGlobal CX Guru, Keynote Speaker

claire-boscq-scott Headshot
During these challenging times, every single customer is even more important than ever. The virus is going to force us to rethink a lot of the ways we run our businesses, our society, and our lives. However, if you keep your customer at the center of everything you do, even in the midst of such a crisis, you will be setting the foundation for a successful business whenever we return to normal.

  • You and your team must bring so much empathy even better compassion in every conversation
  • Be flexible and creative in delivering your services, email reminders, and while packaging online orders.
  • Give without any expectations in return
  • Make it personal, remember emotions are running high and you need to make them feel they are not a number but a person who may be scared, stressed, anxious so connect with them on an emotional level
  • Open all channel of communications online, offline, something you never thought before could be the answer for your customers
  • Be diligent, do what you say you are going to do, walk the walk, talk the talk!
  • Mindfully listen, what customers say they want and what they really want are often different things
  • Be transparent, honest with every situation
  • Exceed expectations, go the extra mile it’s the small things that make a big difference
  • Most of all, be kind, be grateful and show you care

Let’s recognize the unique period we’re in, take a breath, and work our way through it together, show your customers you genuinely care and they will give you loyalty in return.

Make it personal, remember emotions are running high and you need to make them feel they are not a number but a person.Tweet this


Christa HeibelCEO at Christa Heibel Consulting Group

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  • Obtain and deploy security-sensitive technology solutions for work at home options
  • Make sure to assist agents and front line supervisors on how to best adapt to the new daily challenges that might come up
  • Encourage open and honest conversations about what is and is not working for the WAH agents to assist in the transition- not everyone likes this work adjustment!
  • Assess and deploy the right communication tools- Microsoft team, Zoom, WhatsApp, GoogleDocs, Asanaetc for the group and individual communication and shared workflow adjustments that replace the face-to-face work environment
  • Adapt on-going learning methods to eLearning and remote learning options, tools, and technology for effective on-going support and training

Adapt to eLearning and remote learning options, tools, and technology for effective ongoing support and training.Tweet this


Ian GoldingGlobal Customer Experience Specialist

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    • Ensure that your whole organization understands that it is times like these when we MUST recognize that business is all about doing the right thing for PEOPLE
    • Focus on making sure employees responsible for delivering customer service are ‘looked after and cared for’
  • Enable customer-facing employees to ‘think and act in the interests of the customer’ – empower them with the ability to truly help and support customers

Focus on making sure employees responsible for delivering customer service are ‘looked after and cared for.Tweet this


Annette FranzFounder and CEO, CX Journey Inc

Annette Franz Headshot
If your organization is customer-centric, and if you are working to improve the customer experience every day, today (this year) is no different in terms of what you should be doing to deliver a great experience. Consistency in customer experience is the key.

If, over the last year(s), you’ve consistently…

  • Stuck to and delivered on your brand promise
  • Hired the right people for your organization (hired for culture fit)
  • Taken care of your employees and given them the tools, resources, processes, and policies they need to serve the customer well
  • Socialized and operationalized your core values
  • Built a people-centric culture, where people come before metrics, products, and profits
  • Understood your customers and use what you learned to design and deliver a great experience
  • Measured what matters

… then you are prepared. Stay the course.

Build a people-centric culture, where people come before metrics, products,
and profits.Tweet this


Ben MotteramFounding Principal, CXpert

Ben Motteram Headshot

The Remote Environment
Many customer service teams are now working remotely. It is important to ensure that employees are able to provide a level of customer service from home that is as good or better than that which is provided when they are in the office. Ensure-

  • They have access to all the online tools they need.
  • Their physical environment meets all the company’s HSE requirements in terms of the desk and chair being used.
  • The environment is effectively soundproofed to ensure customers don’t hear background noise such as televisions, dogs barking, or babies crying.

Empathy

This is a harrowing time for a great many people. Customers may have caught the coronavirus, lost loved ones to it, been impacted financially by it, or all of the above. Now is not the time to be adhering to hard and fast company rules that were created prior to a pandemic. Customer service people need to be showing empathy to all customers and bending the rules where appropriate to allow for the unprecedented hardship many customers are facing. Conduct empathy training and expand the delegations of agents to allow them to give more if they feel it is required.

Support

Just as these are extremely difficult times for customers, they are also difficult times for employees. The virus has had drastic impacts on issues such as mental health and domestic violence. So make counseling available to all employees and within reason offer flexibility to employees for the extra time they need for tasks such as homeschooling or tending to ill family members.

Conduct empathy training and expand the delegations of agents to allow them to give more.Tweet this


Dwayne CharringtonCustomer Support Specialist & Technical Writer

Dwayne Charrington Headshot

Let us accept that ‘life as we knew’ has changed drastically in the last couple of months. Now, saying that everything would be back to normal soon, would be quite an unrealistic statement. The year 2020 is going to be a rough year for everyone. While some businesses might make news on Wall Street, many other companies would be pushed to file for bankruptcy. 

However, that being said, a pandemic is only a temporary situation and should not be a permanent reason for you to be gloomy. Here is my expert advice on improving customer service. 

Be honest with your customers The last thing customers would want from you during this time is dishonesty. If you are low on staff, communicate it to your customers that they might encounter long wait hours. Being honest will help you keep customer expectations in check. 

Be available on Social Media The lockdown has forced businesses to close the doors of their brick and mortar stores and offices. However, your customers are spending more time on social media than ever before. Keep them engaged and lend an ear to their queries or suggestions. 

Lastly, be patient I understand that a volatile economy and a sinking business can send many business owners in a panic state of mind. However, you need to show patience and take each day as it comes. 

Trust me, there are better days ahead. Good Luck!

The last thing customers would want from you during this time is dishonesty. Being honest will help you keep customer expectations in check. Tweet this

Major Takeaways

“A pandemic should be no excuse for bad customer service. Period.”

During this ongoing pandemic, customers are encountering horrifying service experiences. Don't make the mistake of thinking that all would be forgotten when this is over. It's time to sweat it out and let actions dictate your path ahead than thoughts. 

After lending an ear to what some of the best-in-the-business had to share and after decoding all the valuable expert tips to improve customer service, we have summarized some major takeaways for you. Take a look. 

  • Your customers need your support more than ever before. Show them you care. 
  • Leverage the use of customer support and remote working tools 
  • Remote working is the Inevitable ‘Future of Work’, the sooner you accept the better
  • Build a business culture around customer-centricity and execute it to reality
  • Train and motivate agents to be more polite and empathetic towards every customer
  • Don’t let any temporary situation get the best of you. Stay patient. Stay humble.

We hope you were able to draw valuable lessons on how to keep your business afloat with the help of many valuable customer service expert advice.

Let us know in the comment section about how your business is making a difference each day. Keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive. We wish you all the best!

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About the author

Jared Cornell

Jared is a customer support expert. He has been published in CrazyEgg, Foundr, and CXL. As a customer support executive at ProProfs, he has been instrumental in developing a complete customer support system that more than doubled customer satisfaction.

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