How Customer Support Has Changed in Light of Covid-19?
2020 has been the year to transform various aspects of the typical sales and marketing models that leaders in tech use, but across industries, it has also forced customer facing leaders to revisit how they plan their Customer Support initiatives:
While better training and technology support is needed in today’s business environment to empower customer support executives, several of whom may still be working from home due to the ongoing pandemic, one key aspect remained – the kind of interactions customer support teams had to be taught to manage changed given the new customer challenges and queries that started impacting their incoming calls.
Diving Deeper – Customer’s New Challenges and Expectations
Across industries, especially ecommerce or providers of direct customer facing products, shipping delays, challenges with existing logistics systems, sudden healthcare concerns, local regulations, lockdowns and lots more meant that customer support teams had to know what to do to keep their customer concerns at bay while ensuring their backend teams were given enough time to respond to these various problems.
While on the one hand, business or product providers had to juggle different kinds of customer challenges through the year, they also had to keep up with changing customer expectations, one where customers still expected a seamless online and digital buying experience even as actual providers were faced with resource or budget troubles.
Seeing how these new behaviors impacted the service provider and their dealing with the end customer, today’s customer support teams have to be prepared for a new world of work in light of these changes.
Staying Updated on Current Customer Queries
The lockdowns forced a lot of businesses to remain shut while the eventual reopening processes and back to work policies meant that end users had to have immediate updates on when businesses were open or what their new active hours of work were. In many cases, businesses who had completely shut down shop or moved to 100% remote work models had failed to make the relevant updates to online search platforms like Google. Customer support teams and leaders have to now be prepped to preempt current day and upcoming customer queries so that teams everywhere are on the same page and respond with the correct facts and updates. Automation platforms that can log in these details to keep globally distributed teams updated need the constant review and attention of customer support leaders for them to know whether their teams have accessed the recent most customer answers to new questions.
A Rise in Need for Automation in Customer Support
While leaders the worldover have focused on the importance and benefits of quick digital transformation during this time, customer support agents who in certain industries have had to deal with high case volume (due to shipping delays, billing surcharges, to track order status, etc), have had another challenge to recover from: handling large volume calls, sometimes even from home.
A shift to better and more sophisticated tools and messaging bots is now the need of the hour to deflect low priority cases and allow teams to focus on the most urgent customer issues at hand, where human intervention is absolutely urgent and necessary. This can help brands manage their calls and customers much better and effectively using the right responses while minimizing response times.
Are Bots the Way Forward for Customer Support Teams?
For smaller teams with reduced budgets, or larger teams with expanded workforces, the benefits remain, in different ways: to manage high volume teams or ensure there is a balanced distribution of work when many have health issues at the same time for example (remember, we are working through a pandemic), automation comes in handy to ensure better and timely customer support while not stressing out mid-level and senior management staff. Also, bots can help customers find instant answers to queries, reducing the dependency on humans when there are already other challenges to be dealt with. Bots can safely support several customer support queries at the same time, also making it easier for team leaders to assess the value and output of those calls in one platform itself.
Today’s business environment has taught leaders that now is the time to do more with less, to use sales technologies and marketing technologies to drive customer value and business output, while working around evolving challenges. Today’s sales and marketing leaders have to derive new ways to reduce response times to customer queries and embrace the right sales automation that can help support the growth and output of remote support teams, creating a better win-win.