The outbreak of COVID-19 has presented business owners with many challenges to overcome, but there are some silver linings. It has the potential to change customer service as we know it for the better, in ways that will benefit consumers while also giving businesses an edge over their competitors. The businesses that survive the pandemic and go on to thrive will be the ones that are adjusting the way they work to meet customer needs. They are seeing the coronavirus closures as an opportunity to improve customer service, and here is how they are doing it.
What has the coronavirus taught businesses about customer service?
Below we outline some of the ways that businesses are adapting to improve customer service amid the coronavirus pandemic:
They are improving their storefronts and workspaces to make them safer. While closed, many business owners utilized the time to deep clean, renovate, and repair their storefronts and offices. They are equipped to meet the changing needs of their employees and customers when they reopen. Doing this helps to keep employees safer and healthier when they return to work, which will benefit businesses in the long run. Customers will appreciate the businesses that go the extra mile to make them feel safe when they return.
In addition to sanitizing everything, here are some of the ways that businesses are making their workspaces safer:
- Installing plexiglass shields on counters to create a safety barrier between customers and staff
- Installing hand sanitizer stations
- Handing out masks to customers and employees
- Rearranging cubicles, tables, and other furniture so that people can maintain distancing
Businesses are retraining employees for the new normal. As businesses evolve and adapt to a post-pandemic world, they must retrain employees on how to communicate these changes with customers. Many will have questions about your company’s policies regarding safety and cleanliness, so it is important to make sure that all employees are informed and able to clearly communicate that information.
They are offering more human connection. Although people are keeping more physical space between themselves than ever before, the need for a human connection has never been greater. Social distancing has left many people feeling isolated and uneasy, and they need that extra bit of calm reassurance. When they reach out to your business, providing someone who is composed and friendly for them to speak with will go a long way.
Businesses must be there for their customers when they need you. Not only must businesses provide a calm, reassuring voice for their customers to speak with, but they need to be available when their customers want to speak. If your business is receiving a lot of calls during non-business hours, you may want to consider partnering with an answering service.
An answering service allows your business to always be available to customers, and it is typically cheaper than hiring an additional employee or paying someone overtime.