Take CARE of your Customers | 4 Customer Service Golden Rules for Companies during Coronavirus

Take CARE of your Customers | 4 Customer Service Golden Rules for Companies during Coronavirus

It is evident that Covid-19 has a strong impact on most of the companies; either small, medium, and even big enterprises have been affected by this sudden pandemic. The level of customer emotion and anxiety is making customer service agents jobs far harder and challenging than normal days.

The tension that companies are having is now real and businesses that are relying on product selling are in serious damage and may not have the resources to survive for a long period. Businesses are now struggling between the way to generating sales during this tough economic tightness period and respecting the customer’s priorities and preferences that have been caused by the threats of this exceptional period.

The coronavirus is changing even large and well-established companies and forced businesses to maintain and sometimes change the relationship process with the consumer. 

Most of the customer service representatives are working from home nowadays, without a solid structure, like a reliable internet and phone connection, full presence, and availability of managers for immediate actions, etc. Therefore, basically, customer service representatives are putting a high effort level for a stable service and are struggling more to help customers.

What can new, small, medium and big businesses can do to keep up with the business, support and boost relationships with the customers when in times of total closure and social distancing?

Five key strategies that can help companies preserve their bonds with clients:
Connect with your customers
Accelerate saving options 
Refine your standards and educate about change 
Ensure stability 
These five strategies are measures of what we call the CARE context of constant crisis communication. It helps customer service representatives to know how to deal with the customers and know what to say and what not to say, and how to behave during such times. It highlights current and new customers the company’s plans and strategies for supporting them and providing new value during these times.

Connect with your customers 
Connect with your existing and new customers and meet them where they are now!
Online penetration is increasing everywhere in the world, most of the people are stuck at home, the ultimate outing they can make is going to the supermarket, grocery store, or to the pharmacy and even these services are online now! 
In China the online penetration has increased 15 to 20 percent overall, in Italy e-commerce sales for consumer products have increased by 80 percent in a single week. Customers are requesting digital services, and with minimal steps. Companies who adapt quickly to this online presence and update their delivery sample will not online try to survive this tough period, but effectively will establish a strong presence for after the coronavirus period ends. 

Service industries have enhanced digital value-added services such as the education field, consulting. Many companies are making digital services free of charge to help existing customers and wider there reach to new potential clients. Fitness companies, for example, are organizing free trials and online classes and subscriptions for their website and application and to generate more leads to their social media platforms. New sign-ups have grown in the last months more than 250 percent. 
It is more likely that these customers who are using digital services now will stick to them when the pandemic is over. Companies who take this action now and deliver exceptional service through digital platforms have a big option to maintain these customers after the crisis. 
It is time to bring your business to your customer’s home. Home delivery is now a necessity and no longer a choice. People are dealing now with touch-free operations, making a strong presence, and building a remarkable base, and making a strong impact is key during these times. Move your physical operations to touch-free ones so customers will benefit today and after the coronavirus pandemic time. 

Accelerate saving options 
Maintaining a strong customer experience in this crisis requires fast research and action to fully understand the changing environment and dynamics and critical points as well as responsive innovation to address them. The sooner that companies can fulfill existing and new consumer needs during this time, the better off both will be. Taking your eyes off of “failure modes” can lead to bright results.
Think what customers need now and in light of this need act accordingly.
Some restaurants are making family combos for their delivery services, sports companies are highlighting workout equipment during these times. 
People are now focusing on how to make the most of their time at home. So help them find out! Call it a “save offer”, it might be a certain promotion to tempt them to stay or a certain offering that might be interesting for them.
Accelerate the response rate between the customer service representative and the consumers by creating ready answers for the most frequent questions asked. Customer service representatives can go out of script due to exceptional times; it is important during this crisis to facilitate the process for them and for the customer experience. 

 Refine your standards and educate about change 
Set new policies and standards according to the current situation and what works best for your company and customers during these times. Adapt to change while taking all your precautions and by abiding by the government laws and actions.
Inform your customers about all changes to your operating system and functionality; let them know about your customer service availability, staff reduction, ordering options, new hours availability, facilities. You can reference the new regulations set already by the government that occurred to these changes.  
Let customers know that your organization understands this critical situation and the social circumstances and care about social safety and the client’s safety rather than making profits during these difficult times.

Ensure stability 
Show customers that you are willing to go beyond what you need to do for their benefit, mainly if your company can handle the financial load.
Despite the disturbance, elaborate on how you operate, and how you will continue to provide the things they have come to know and love. Tell them how you will maintain your value propositions.
Simply let your clients know you care and you are there for them especially during these hard times. It is important to let your clients see the human side of you, they will appreciate the sentimentality and it can lead to personal connection.
Keep on reminding your clients that you are following all recommended local guidelines. Make sure you keep them informed about your business and the actions you are taking so they can make sure at all times that you are following all state and local guidelines. It is nice to share with them sometimes important tips and reminders you have for them to stay safe. 


During such a crisis, people will always remember the way companies deal with them, with the employees and with the community so make it a good memory.
The Covid-19 pandemic has put companies and service representatives under pressure and in a big responsibility like never experienced before. However, with the right customer-centric attitude and with the focus on the right strategy, companies can successfully navigate during these hard times. 
Give consumers your CARE during this difficult time and you will assure a long-lasting relationship with your existing customers and help ensure recruiting new clients.

by Elvis Ghanem | Customer Service and Communication Expert


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