The 3 top customer service trends to emerge during the pandemic
The golden rule in customer service excellence has always been “the customer is king”. Putting the customer first has to be the top priority for any business that wants to build and maintain a loyal customer base. Without it, companies will soon disappear.
The Covid-19 pandemic brought this truth into stark reality, as any manner of customer service requests, from waiting for a new product already paid-for or returning a faulty product, to sorting out a simple billing query, were either delayed or could either not be serviced at all.
Small wonder, then, that customers became even more demanding and today, it is widely accepted that this trend has not abated. The demand for excellent customer service and support is even higher than it was prior to the pandemic.
Research has revealed three major customer service trends that, if followed, will help you gain more customers, create greater customer loyalty and reduce customer churn:
1. SHOW YOUR CUSTOMERS YOU CARE
Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the trauma that the world has experienced during the Covid-19 crisis, empathy (the ability to identify with or understand another’s situation or feelings) and emotional connection have emerged as the two key differentiators between a good customer service experience and a poor one. Today’s consumers want to connect on a human level with the companies they deal with.
You are being evaluated on the human scale more than ever before – and it starts with your customer service employees.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you did, but people will
never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
2. EXCEED YOUR CUSTOMERS’ EXPECTATIONS
Customer-centricity was important before the pandemic, and it is even more important now. Your customers need to be the focal point of everything you do. A customer-centric approach will allow you to understand their situations, perceptions and expectations, enabling your customer service to become proactive, instead of reactive.
Leverage social media to get insights on customers’ likings, their habits, what they buy and their reactions to their products. Create customer profiles, conduct surveys and get customer reviews. Ask questions on how your company can serve them better. This way, you will be able to anticipate what they want and surprise them by offering them more than what they expected.
“The best way to exceed your customer’s expectations
is to know those expectations.”- Roy H. Williams
3. SPEEDUP CUSTOMER SERVICE Response times
Providing quick and efficient customer service was seriously impacted during the pandemic. This might account for a notable trend that customers appear to be even more demanding now – and not only in the holiday season, when customer service staff might be thin on the ground. Consider using a third-party provider like Unicom to provide round the clock responses. Many customers expect an answer within six hours. When you’re backed up like this, focus on responding instead of resolving. But don’t allow the pressure to resolve the issue to result in short-cuts. Remember:
“Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything” Wyatt Earp