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Exceptional Customer Service in the Midst of a Pandemic
Regardless of the pandemic challenges, customer service and outsourcing deliver exceptional customer service through new trends and strategies.
The pandemic may have disrupted the operations of some businesses and establishments, but it also taught lessons and introduced new opportunities. One of the many services that people look for in these trying times is a proactive customer experience.
Businesses continue to arise from the challenges of the pandemic by looking at the trends and innovating approaches on how to deliver exceptional customer service. Due to financial troubles, this might be a difficult responsibility, especially for small business owners. However, outsourcing is a way for them to maintain and rebuild their operations.
Customer service outsourcing is a cost-effective strategy to develop and better a business’ customer service operations by collaborating with a third-party company.
However, there are things to consider before partnering with an outsourcing team, and these include checking the background and reputation of the company, the expertise of the people on board, and an understanding of what both parties must deliver.
3 Pandemic Challenges of Customer Service Agents
While customer service takes measures to provide great service, they also come across unfavorable situations. Notably, during this pandemic, teams have to face a few difficulties.
- Customer service agents can feel stress, too
How do customer service staff ease the tension of customers? They do this by considering that they are “always right.” The old saying has been applied to millions of distressed customers, but it might not be appropriate for all cases all the time.
According to serial entrepreneur and investor Kumar Arora, a “customer-centric ideology is now outdated and no longer relevant” and that it “could be creating an obstacle on the path to truly exceptional customer service.”
The pandemic increased everyone’s tension, but customers should know that support agents also feel stressed. Nevertheless, tensions can be eased when both the customer and agent express empathy and communicate appropriately.
Agents may also consider sympathizing with their customers by having productive communication. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce suggests that “When things are going wrong, it’s important to know how to communicate with your customers effectively.”
A Pipedrive article adds that the customer support approach should be relatable and convey that all people—whether consumers or agents—are in this pandemic together.
- The need to innovate customer service
It seems that the world is getting more modern, experimental, and competitive. Customer service needs to adapt to these changes through new plans and tactics to serve the people better, produce leads, and increase sales. This will all lead to trustworthy and exceptional customer service.
According to Executive Boutique, businesses can communicate and stay in touch with customers through social media platforms, websites, and other channels. With these, they can also establish self-service operations that allow your customers to explore your services.
Another way to innovate is by introducing self-service, for instance, providing knowledge resources or integrating chatbots into your messaging apps. This way, you can help people get their answers to general concerns without going through a lengthy customer service process. Self-service can also make your customers engaged.
- Knowing the preferences of customers
Customer service agents are part of the customer service operations. Their efforts keep customers loyal and strengthen processes, and one way to do this is by learning what the people want.
A good customer service experience entails agents informing customers of their company’s products and services and giving answers to any questions, problems, or concerns people may have.
Thus, agents have to be quick-witted, understandable, and concise when providing information, value the customer by showing concern and respect, and above all, present themselves as an expert in the business they are representing.
Customers’ objections may be an opportunity in disguise for support agents to further understand their needs and “respond to their objections in an emphatic yet firm manner.” In addition, to better understand your target market, consider outsourcing your customer service function.
According to StratAccess, other functions that can be outsourced and benefit small businesses include marketing, research and development, technical support, and many others.
Organizations Learn to Step Up to the Plate This Pandemic
Customer service is a demanding job, and the pandemic made it even more difficult. Regardless, customer service teams adapt to these challenges and have come to terms with complex situations by staying on top of customer service trends.
The following are a few of the trends in customer service and ways your support team can utilize them to arise from challenging situations:
- The help of automated tools
Exceptional customer service provide information and answers to customers successfully. This can be done easily through automation tools and software to deliver standard customer service without spending too much on labor and equipment. For example, having chatbots on your messaging apps can already help your consumers in dire need of answers greatly.
- The power of outsourcing
Outsourcing customer function is nothing new. In fact, the BPO industry has flourished because several organizations choose to get a reliable third-party provider to help with their customer support. In the coming years, trends still show that organizations of different industries will continue to outsource their customer service tasks.
However, BPOs today also aid in marketing, manufacturing, administrative work, and other functions. It improves business processes and strategies to keep you afloat amidst the pandemic.
- Going beyond answering product or service concerns
In this time of a pandemic, great support experience should go beyond answering customer queries. Other ways you can support your customers include personal deliveries, valuing your elderly buyers, coming up with promos, and providing extended care, such as by donating home care products and meals to those in need.
In times of crisis, people learn to understand the needs of one another further. It is proof that people have a mutual urge to help each other in a difficult time.
This is similar to customer service and outsourcing services. They provide assistance and solutions to attend to the needs of customers. Outsourcing services perform a huge role in the development of a business because they contribute to the work and performance of the in-house staff.