How COVID-19 Changed the Customer Service Industry
The advent of the COVID-19 disease, a worldwide pandemic, led to the shutdown, restriction, and pause in normal daily activities. This, of course, has led to a vast range of changes in how things would normally function. The changes affected establishments during, before, and after the lockdown. Some of the changes affect the customer service industry.
What is Customer Service?
Customer Service is a direct interaction between an organisation’s representative and a customer. The interaction could entail providing solutions, resolving problems, assisting, or answering questions. The primary responsibility of providing customer services is to satisfy the customers and gain their trust simultaneously. Consumers can reach customer service by contacting them via calls, emails, live chat, etc. Nowadays, there are more accessible and faster methods through automated workflows, chatbots, an organisation’s official website, or social media platforms. An organisation benefits from customer services through increased sales and profits, customer loyalty, and competitive advantage.
Ways In Which COVID-19 Changed Customer Service Industry
1. Demand For Personalised Experience
Recently, customers require companies to engage with their needs individually instead of a generalised response. The experience involved creating specialised mediums with which customers are responded to. This is achieved by connecting each customer to a separate customer care representative. Research has made it known that almost all customers in America prefer their personalised experience.
Due to this high demand, companies were pressured to adapt to providing platforms such as feedback, CRM systems, social media, etc.
2. Automation Of Tasks
Automated customer services have been in use for a while now. However, more organisations adopted this because of labor shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the closure of many businesses, there are limited staff and hours of operation. There was also a high rate of calls, hold times, redirects and demand.
Customer Service automation is simply the reduction of human involvement in the customer service system. Examples of automated customer services are:
- FAQs(Frequently Asked Questions)
- IVR (Interactive Voice Response), etc.
It is beneficial because customers have access to services 24/7, a shorter response time, and no human errors.
Organisations also benefit because they spend less on customer services, receive value for money spent, and improve effectiveness and customer satisfaction.
3. Introduction Of Video Call/Chat Solution
The use of video call support skyrocketed during the pandemic. Most meetings were held online through Skype, Zoom, Google Meet, etc. Video calls are still in use because there is a quick response time compared to other support channels.
Video calls allow customers to discuss with customer care representatives face to face. This medium helps solve issues quickly, resulting in a smooth and compelling customer experience. Also, it is easier, convenient and has reduced the need to visit an organisation before getting in contact with customer care services.
4. Customer Self-Service
Just like the other support solutions listed above, Self-service is a kind of customer service that allows the customer to find their solutions. Customers easily prefer this method because it is fast and can be achieved at the customer’s pace and convenience.
Tools for self-service customer service are pre-recorded knowledge-based videos, public forums, mobile applications, etc.
Importance Of Good Customer Service
These are the benefits of good customer service in an organisation:
1. Customer Satisfaction
The sole priority of an organisation is to satisfy the needs of its customers. Customer satisfaction measures the products and services offered by an organisation, how good they are, and how they fulfill the customer’s expectations. It plays a significant factor in gaining and retaining customers. When customers are happy with proffered assistance and solutions to their issues, they tend to patronise more, resulting in customer loyalty.
2. Improved Brand Image
The more satisfied customers are, the more they talk about the organisation. This improves the image perceived by the general public. A good brand image leads to more recognition, recommendations, and patronage. Gaining a good image is possible by pleasing customers beyond their expectations.
Most times, people tend to overlook accidental mistakes made by companies with good public images.
3. Constant Feedbacks And Improvements
Receiving consistent feedback from customers helps the organisation improve required areas. Customers use goods and services rendered by the organisation; thereby, they are in the proper position to make complaints or suggest amends. Feedbacks influence modifications and product decisions.
4. Customer Lifetime Value(CLV)
Customer Lifetime Value is a metric that states the total revenue a company should expect from a single customer. Offering a great customer experience improves the customer lifetime value of an organisation.
Customers are more willing to pay more for services that offer them a good customer experience, according to research.
5. Improved Online Conversion Rate
Providing a good customer care experience improves the online conversion rate, profit, and revenue. These can all be achieved by retaining customers. To retain customers, the customer services rendered must be top-notch. A better customer care service provides a good and improved online conversion rate to an organisation.
6. Increased Value Through Up-selling And Cross-selling
Upselling and cross-selling are techniques adopted by companies to make more sales and revenues. Customer support gives the avenue to introduce affordable products and services that customers need at lesser prices. It involves engaging satisfied customers to purchase other services the company offers.
For example, pitches can be made to customers while dropping reviews or feedback.
Customer service is an important sector of an organisation. The customer service role is to offer assistance to existing and potential customers. Assistance such as providing solutions, answering questions, suggesting products and services, and listening to complaints are rendered by customer service. This assistance is rendered through calls, messages, emails, videos, etc.
The COVID-19 pandemic has, however, resulted in certain changes in the customer service system. There was an increase in customers’ demands for a personalised experience. These demands led to the introduction and popular use of automated customer service, self-service customer support, video support solution, and so on.
Written by The Original PC Doctor on 29/4/2022.