Customer service becomes crucial during a crisis. While this has various challenges, it is also a boon for brands to build loyalty during this time. An unresponsive attitude or some ambiguity where customers are frustrated about how to get your products, or service for these products, can lead to a shift in brand loyalty and a resultant loss in the client base.
It is precisely during such times that you will find a sudden spurt in the number of calls to your call center or customer service numbers, and you need to be prepared for such contingencies. Here are some tips on how to increase customer satisfaction during the current changed market scenario.
- Look at your current strength of customer service employees and the infrastructure that you have currently, and gauge where you need to make any changes.
- Figure out how you can leverage the existing resources to enhance the number of calls taken. You could shift a part of the workforce from other non-essential departments to the call center so that the number of calls answered can be increased significantly.
- Offer a higher overtime incentive to employees if you feel it is the need of the hour to encourage employees to work beyond regular timings.
- See if you can make changes to the IVR to automate more calls. Reduce the time taken by the customer to reach a customer service representative if necessary. In some cases, your customer may prefer to talk to a representative directly rather than listen to an automated voice—gauge, which is more important and adjust the computerized system accordingly.
- Check if there is any new software or technology that you can use to increase the team’s performance quickly. Software is continuously upgraded, and you may have missed the last few updates. There is always a better way to do things, which may not make sense during regular times, but will make perfect sense now.
- Incentivize the current team to answer more calls in a day, and publicly appreciate the employees who are out-performing. You may not be able to increase the workforce overnight, and encouraging the current workforce will give you more time to add employees in the medium term.
- Improve your virtual agent’s capability to handle more calls and re-direct calls from your call center to the virtual agent since adding employees at this juncture may prove to be a challenge. Allot more technical resources on this front.
- In case there are locations where the load is high, deflect calls from them to centers where the call rate is lower so that the overall capacity is balanced for better efficiency.
- Consider a training session for existing employees where they can be taught to rework their conversations in such a way as to handle more customers – again, ask them to deflect regular inquires to the virtual agent if necessary.
- Prioritize critical calls and non-critical calls and assign the workforce accordingly.
- Now that you have an idea of what kind of surge in calls to expect during a lockdown, make provisions to increase the workforce in the medium term so that no customer is dissatisfied.
Thank you for reading this post, should you have any suggestions or feedback, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.