The extraordinary situation we’re facing today is putting tremendous pressure on customers and customer service agents alike – and customer service during crisis requires an adaptation of leadership methods to best care for everyone involved – customers and employees.
Customers are changing plans, facing new challenges, and managing massive uncertainty, so they’re reaching out to businesses to get questions answered. Right now, good customer service can make a real difference in someone’s life, and can set a customer experience apart.
Service agents are handling this sudden influx of customer calls, all while navigating the same challenges themselves.
How can customer service organizations take care of their agents, who in turn take care of their customers, during times of crisis?
Customer service during crisis: 5 ways companies can respond quickly and make a difference
Share your knowledge
Product experts, technicians, and service agents should immediately start updating company’s knowledge base to make sure to ensure trouble shooting information is accurate. Experts can record and distribute trouble shooting and DYI videos so that customers and end users can easily solve their own issues when possible. This takes a huge toll off your customer service agents and minimizes the need to dispatch a service technician.
An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure
In some cases, it might be weeks before you can dispatch service technician to do a repair. Critical equipment downtime can seriously impact you customers. Organizations should come up with a list of proactive measures that customers can take on their own to reduce the chance of product failure or breakdowns. For example, a household appliance manufacturer can quickly remind their customers that it is good time to clean check and clean the filters on their dishwasher and washers. Same approach works if you are manufacturer of complex industrial machinery.
Get closer to the problem – virtually
You can quickly empower your customer service agents to see what the customers are seeing and help them trouble shoot issues remotely. This can be as easy as enabling face-time or using a purpose build AR and VR solutions for customer service. There are a few startups in this are like TechSee and FieldBit – please note that I am not endorsing any specific solution but offering these as examples.
Improve your data accuracy
Sounds basic but it is incredibly helpful if to both agents and customers. Updating your customer install base, and product information so that you know exactly what is installed at the customer site can be a game changer. This enables you to more accurately diagnose problems and solve issues. And, when a service technician is dispatched (for example to fix a CT scanner at the hospital), armed with the right data, chances are that the issue could be solved in the first visit.
Predict and act
This is good time to use all the trouble ticket data that you have accumulated over the years and leverage ML based technologies to predict what products and what customers are most at risk of breakdown and let them know about specific actions that they can take to avoid downtime.