Customer experience during COVID-19: Shifting CX efforts in response to the pandemic is critical

Ashley Sava

April 3, 2020

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The entire world, including your customers, is now focused on the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of them are dealing with job loss, pay cuts, or temporary layoffs. Some are on the frontline, putting their health and the health of their families at risk in order to serve others. Many are battling Coronavirus health complications or know someone close to them who is. So, should you reposition your customer experience efforts during COVID-19? Of course you should!

Just as we personally aren’t able to separate what’s going on around the world from our jobs and personal lives, we can’t expect our customers to either. Here are some ways to establish an appropriate refocus of your customer experience efforts in order to provide customers with what they need.

Practice compassion

Your customers at this moment might be very different from the customers you had relationships with last month. To get a better sense of where they are coming from, it’s important to listen closely to what they are saying. Proactively reach out to customers and prove that your business is empathetic. Customers will remember how they were treated long after this crisis subsides. Hold a training session for all employees who have direct contact with customers and teach them the best ways to show empathy and understanding, while also addressing client concerns and needs. 

At Tethr, we deployed a new set of machine learning categories on Coronavirus and launched a dashboard for our customers to follow customer mentions of COVID-19, and how those interactions are being handled by agents. You can easily track down which reps are using effort-reduction skills while keeping up with operational indicators companies should monitor during the pandemic. Be sure to use what you find to immediately take steps toward improving your customer experience during COVID-19.

Address employee anxiety 

Your employees might be the call center reps having difficult conversations with anxious customers. Maybe they’re the IT staff putting in more hours than ever before in order to allow the workforce to adjust to working from home. Every member of your team operating during this crisis is a living, breathing manifestation of your brand. 

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Keeping that in mind, remember that your workers are fighting with anxiety, uncertainty, and stress. Their own worries are likely enhanced by the worries of on-edge clients and coworkers. If you want your employees to continue delivering exceptional service, investing in their well-being is critical. Host virtual social times, foster positive coping, and point them toward mental health resources.

Customer experience during COVID-19: Adjust as needed

It will surely take work, but the objectives set for your customer experiences last month probably aren't aligned with what's needed today. What's working today might not even work next week. Your complex, carefully planned experience campaign should move in a more straightforward and accessible direction for the time being. Plans you intended to roll out this quarter will likely need to be rescheduled for later in the year. Take a critical appraisal of the current experiences you are delivering and modify them to account for the nature of what’s going on in the world. Check out how Tethr’s COVID-19 dashboard is helping our customers with customer experience during COVID-19.

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