The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up the world like nothing before, and customer service is no exception. Businesses have faced the need to step up and support consumers who have many of the same needs as before. The impact of COVID-19 on customer behavior has been sweeping and immediate. Spending across most industries is down, purchases have shifted from in-person to digital channels, and public safety has become a top priority for companies and consumers alike.
Many businesses modified how they interact with customers and the changes were easy to notice. Some of those changes will stick around long after COVID-19 subsides because customers themselves have changed. Here are 3 major changes in customer service trends that may stick, for good;
- Text/Chat support
Adding to the push of 24-hour online help is the idea that customers should also have the option to text brands directly when they need assistance. This also comes in handy with an increase in the number of calls, employees working from home, text/chat support has helped a lot, in attending to customer queries and in avoiding escalations.
As consumers increase digital interactions with brands and stores, they expect to receive support from them 24 hours a day. In cases where a customer is trying to get help with a site problem, they can be turned off and leave the sale altogether if they can’t get quick help. Offering support round the clock is something to consider, it not only helps with customer satisfaction but also, eases the workload off employees.
- Delivery & Curbside pick up
This is a relatively simple way to serve customers in a new way and discourages them from choosing a delivery option that will likely cost more. The customers that never had curbside before have now tried it because of COVID and found that they quite like the convenience. The curbside pickup would catch on, it has become popular because of the added convenience and a supplement to drive-thrus.
Customer experience has taken on a new definition and dimension in the overwhelming challenge of COVID-19. As we look ahead to a post-pandemic world then, it’s clear that digital platforms will continue to play a major role in any strategic plans. And while customers may have accepted compromises in service while companies were adjusting to the ‘new normal’, a renewed focus on improving the customer experience will be vital to safeguard long-term trust, loyalty and success.