In 2020, the world faced a pandemic of epic proportions, which almost had the world at a standstill. Some businesses closed permanently, others had to let employees go as sales decreased. Other businesses boomed. It all depended on adaptability. The glue that held these businesses together was their ability to adapt and how they handled their customers.
During that time, those in customer service faced unique challenges. If they worked in person handling the customers, they faced health concerns. Remote employees were hit by increases in support requests on top of managing a home office environment, negatively impacting quality of service. Some companies moved customer service overseas or turned to FAQ’s or chat bots. Regardless of which situation a company was in, alterations had to be made which caused a decline in customer satisfaction overall.
This was a concern for in person customer service. Social distancing as much as possible was encouraged, as was the usage of masks. Sanitation was key in keeping those businesses in operation, so it became a higher priority. If there was a breakout that traced back to their business, it could mean closing their doors.
Some businesses saw an influx of customers. The benefit of remote customer service and online based companies was the ability to handle multiple customers at once. Whether through phone, email, or chat, according to…it was found that the response times actually decreased for online based customer service. These were the companies that could afford to keep employees on and even hired during the COVID pandemic.
No matter the industry, there were changes happening behind the scenes. Customer service agents needed to set expectations right from the start. Delivery companies needed to change their expected delivery dates and times. Customer service workers were forced to handle escalated situations and set expectations the customer could understand. These situations continue to unfold and are not properly handled causing decreased customer satisfaction.
For the safety of everyone during the COVID pandemic, changes needed to be made in order to maintain the confidence of customers and help them in a timely manner. The companies which were adaptable were the companies which succeeded during a very trying time. The COVID pandemic was life changing and those businesses which survived and thrived were thanks to those customer service employees maintaining positive relationships with the customers.