Supporting customers during times of crisis

Whether you’re a large organisation or a small company, good customer service is the hallmark of any successful business. Providing great customer service is what helps you stand-out from the competition, particularly during challenging times. We’re sharing our top tips to provide superior customer service today, tomorrow and post-pandemic.

  1. Leverage data to inform your strategy
  2. In today’s hyper-connected world, businesses of all types and sizes have access to data right at their fingertips. While data is often used to process orders, monitor the health of a business, or inform which products or services you provide next, it can also help inform your customer service strategy. For example, you can leverage available data to prioritise clients who may be impacted immediately by COVID-19 and proactively offer solutions to help them. You can also gain visibility from data into customers that may be impacted next to get in front of a potential issue before it occurs. If you can understand your client’s current situation, you’ll be able to deliver better customer service and help ensure your relationship outlasts the pandemic.

  3. Ensure you have a backup plan
  4. While no one could have predicted what 2020 had in store, it is always important to be prepared for the unexpected as many businesses’ customers rely on them even more during times of crisis. Is your team prepared for different ways of working? With many offices still closed, employees have been adjusting to working remotely. It’s important to cross-train employees and have tools in place that allow you to continue business as usual. Many businesses have been impacted by COVID-19 and that could potentially include your suppliers. Do you have plans in place to serve your customers if your suppliers are impacted by the crisis? When building a business continuity plan it’s important to have a list of alternative suppliers and/or solutions to ensure you can continue providing customers the service and support they need.

  5. Show empathy for your clients
  6. A little empathy goes a long way. In times of crisis it’s important to listen carefully to customers and put yourself in their shoes to truly understand their challenges. Have their needs evolved only temporarily due to COVID-19? Or will their needs be longer term? Also examine your relationship with them. Are they a long-time customer? Or have they only recently used your services? Are they in good standing? Consider developing a variety of options to offer clients struggling during the pandemic. It’s important to note, while you have a commitment to your customers, you also must balance it with your business objectives. Be as flexible as you can, without compromising your business.

  7. Put the client at the forefront of your communications
  8. Great communication is a key component of any solid client relationship. It’s important your clients know you are there for them, particularly during times of crisis. You might consider increasing the frequency of your communications to stay on their radar, offer your support, or provide helpful, relevant information. How have your clients’ needs changed? You can deliver a superior customer experience by anticipating their needs and ensuring they have information when they need it, or perhaps before they even realise they need it. This helps distinguish a good customer experience from great customer experience. By being one step ahead and anticipating their needs, you’re helping ensure your customer base will remain intact for the long term.

Jamie Cohen, Sr Manager, Product Marketing

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