With the pandemic dying down, its consequences are still with us. People have become more mindful about their health, spending, jobs, and relationships. Consumers’ relationships with brands have also changed, and brands have to adapt their customer service and support to new customer preferences.
Loyalty programs, sales, and good product quality are undeniably important when it comes to building relationships with customers. Customer service is often treated like an afterthought and its importance is diminished.
Constantly elevating the quality of customer service is one of the best and surest ways to establish a good relationship with customers and promote the image of the brand. Instead of cutting on customer service after the pandemic, companies should invest in it to preserve the relationships with customers who have increased demand for care.
Improved digital experience — about 50% of respondents say they are not likely to go back to frequent out-of-home leisure activities. They will keep on ordering produce, clothes, and home appliances. They need a fast connection, a simple interface, and quick answers. Training customer service teams to give quick and correct answers and provide users with simple resolutions is likely to hit the spot.
Discounts — 42% of customers are already seeking ways to cut back on their spending. They will either look for cheaper options or wait for discounts to make the purchase. Setting up loyalty programs, sales and updating customers on future discounts will cater to their needs and provide them with the care they require today.
Adaptability — multiple Covid waves, disruptions in supply chains, political unrest — these are the changes the society has gone through in a very short period of time. As a result, consumers want brands to adapt to the ever-changing situation and provide them with solutions and offers that will perfectly suit the current circumstances. Conduct regular syncs, make following the market one of the team’s daily tasks and automate the system to get frequent updates. This way, you will provide customers with the most timely and suitable solutions.
Before the pandemic, 71% of business leaders said they had a customer-centricity gap and 54% percent said their customer relationships are strained, bordering on non-existent. As a result, US businesses annually lose $35.5 billion in churn due to negligent or empathy-lacking services.
Empathy is one of the best ways to cultivate loyalty. It is especially effective after a major global crisis, like a global pandemic. Users want to talk, be heard, and understood. They want to share their experiences, frustration, and successes. Without empathy, support teams will not be able to understand customers and will not be able to satisfy their needs and requests to the fullest extent, which is exactly what customers want right now.
Empathy training should be included into the support reps’ professional development as soon as possible. The best approach is to pay extra attention to it during the earliest stages of onboarding. Conducting regular QA sessions and analyzing the team’s performance is the best way to ensure everyone remembers basic rules of customer communication and shows every user the level of care and empathy they deserve.
2021 was riddled with issues. One of the biggest among them was supply chain disruptions. Combined with growing demand, they created rips across multiple industries, from smartphone and computer manufacturing to e-commerce.
Having gone through 2 years of uncertainty, customers want to be well-informed. They want to know the goods they need are in stock and will arrive on time. What they don’t want is support reps who avoid answering their questions or lack the needed information, canned answers, or a chatbot to help them.
To prevent misunderstanding, businesses and retailers even went as far as asking consumers to adjust their shopping carts and preferences — something not a lot of customers would be willing to do.
To avoid unhappy customers, develop a system, where each user will be able to track and know the status of their order or the products in their wishlist. Make sure your support team has enough resources to track the supply chains and reach out to the customers when the goods come back in stock.
Customer support should cooperate with the communications department and relay all the info to customers to prevent inquiries, anxiety and feeling of uncertainty. If a company has a problem, better communicate it beforehand rather than wait for customers to lose their temper.
Keeping customers well-informed will make your brand more trustworthy, which will keep them loyal.
Adapting service and communication to the new customers’ preferences is one of the surest ways to come out of this time of adaptation on top of the industry.