4 Rewarding Customer Service Takeaways from 2020
2020 was a rollercoaster ride but the uncertainties of the pandemic led to new developments in business-customer relationships. So, what can we learn from how businesses redesigned customer service in 2020?
Customer Service Lessons from 2020
In 2020, customers went out of their way to support their favorite local businesses. On the other hand, companies revamped their customer support efforts to offer better and more personalized customer service. Some might even say that 2020 was the year customer service was revolutionized. Here are the top customer service takeaways from the year of the global pandemic.
1. The Inevitable Move to Cloud Communication Solutions
Businesses that were still on the fence about switching to cloud and digital solutions quickly scrambled to implement these solutions when call traffic increased as a result of closures and lockdowns. With flights getting canceled, delivery and shipping delays, store and restaurant closures, businesses experienced high call volumes from concerned customers. This led to the switch to digital channels such as email, social media, live chat, etc. The purpose here was to offer information and solutions through more channels, thereby, assisting multiple customers simultaneously.
Interestingly, this also gave rise to more automated and self-service options such as IVR systems, chatbots and email bots, software assistants, online knowledge bases and support centers, etc.
2. Growing Call for Empathy in Customer Service
With the whole world overwhelmed by uncertainty and fear, businesses realized that upping their empathy game when dealing with customers became more important. This meant taking more time to understand customer fears and frustrations and finding solutions to quickly resolve these concerns, while not losing their own minds.
Some companies took this a step further by extending deadlines, offering small additional services, checking in on their customers, and so on. These little surprises led to delightful interactions between customers and these businesses.
3. Growing Focus on Employee Experience
Besides taking care of their customers, companies also started paying more attention to employee experience and health. This is for a simple reason: healthy employees lead to happy customers. During the lockdowns and closures, employees were strung out doing more than they usually would. And, in some cases, they were on the frontline of customer service having to deal with distraught and impatient customers as well as high call volumes.
This means that employees need better working conditions that make them feel safe and valued. Additionally, provide them with useful tools that help them do their job well, especially when the phones keep ringing and there’s only so much they can do on their own.
4. Adjustment to Remote Operations
Last is the move to remote working and remote team management. Closures and lockdowns meant companies had to take their operations virtual and have employees work remotely. For some businesses, this was a quick shift, while others struggled. While these companies struggled at the beginning, many have adapted to running operations remotely and virtually. This experience showed how many companies were not prepared for such a change. And so, businesses now are considering having remote working set-ups in place as a back-up for such situations.
How Can Your Business Prepare?
Hopefully, we don’t see another year like 2020 in the near future. And while many businesses and customers are still recovering from COVID’s effect on the economy, we’re still here to stay. Businesses should take the opportunity to learn from past mistakes and oversights and prepare for future challenges. These key customer service takeaways can help you identify what your business might be lacking and where to start with improvements. Good luck!