It’s been a difficult year and a half for businesses. Consumer spending completely collapsed during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with huge economic impacts affecting consumers and businesses alike.
Yet we’re now heading back to normality… and consumers are expected to spend significantly more as we move into the “post-pandemic world.” Customer service is set to become more important than ever.
According to a study from McKinsey, “an effective vaccine rollout to bring the pandemic to an end could restore consumer demand to pre-pandemic levels, fueled by rising consumer confidence, pent-up demand, and accumulated savings.”
As consumer spend across a range of industries grows, so does the need to scale up your customer service team to meet that rising demand - and expectations are higher than ever.
A report from Talkdesk, for example, shows that the majority of consumers have higher customer service expectations today than before the pandemic - expecting fast and accessible interactions with brands.
With that in mind, Advantage Communications has created a list of tips to that will help your brand prepare its call center and customer service strategy for the impending post-pandemic boom in customer activity:
Listen to your customers
The best way to know whether your customer service strategy is working is to gain direct feedback from your customers. You can do that through a variety of techniques, whether it's surveys you send out to your customers or the use of conversation analytics to analyze customer-agent interactions.
Once you understand exactly what it is your customers are asking your customer service representatives (CSRs) for and what they expect from your brand, you can then use those customer insights to proactively adapt your customer service strategy to better serve your customers.
Plan to scale up your customer service team
According to a study from Deloitte Insights: “With lessening anxiety has come a change in mood: Americans are eager to get back to meeting each other, head to their favorite restaurants and pubs, go for vacations, and return to their offices.”
As a result, as highlighted in Deloitte’s latest United States Economic Forecast, the personal consumption expenditures price index (PCE) is likely to increase by 7.6 percent in 2021 and by 3.9 percent in 2022 - a sharp change from the 3.9 percent contraction last year.
To cope with the increased demand your brand will likely experience, it’s crucial your brand has a plan to scale up its call center for rising demand.
Make your health and safety policies part of your marketing/customer service strategy
Consumer confidence may be on the up, but that doesn’t mean people are no longer worried about COVID-19. In fact, more than ever customers care about the health and safety protocols that brands are implementing to protect the health of both their customers and their employees.
This marks an opportunity for your brand to include your health and safety policies in both your marketing and customer service strategies. It’s your chance to publicly communicate how you are stepping up your brand’s focus to prioritize the safety of your customers and employees.
Meet your customers where they are today
Customer shopping and customer service patterns have changed dramatically over the past year. Customers now expect digital, at-home and low-effort options when it comes to interacting with your brand.
That means digital-led customer service experiences will continue to grow in popularity, long after the pandemic is over. Brands that cover a range of touchpoints - from online chatbots, SMS messaging, self-service support and many others - will be the most successful when it comes to offering a superior customer experience in 2021 and beyond.
Want to learn more about building a successful customer service strategy in the post-pandemic world? Interested in understanding how you can plan and prepare your brand to meet, and exceed, your customer expectation? Contact Advantage Communications today.