Customer effort in a crisis: How the pandemic is impacting the enterprise

Ashley Sava

Since March 11, Tethr has analyzed more than one million calls across 20 companies to see how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting different areas of the enterprise. Not surprisingly, our findings were less than stellar news for both CX and customer service teams. It’s clear that customer effort in this crisis is high industry-wide.

Customer effort in a crisis

Customers are dealing with extreme anxiety due to sudden unemployment, hour reduction, salary cuts, and indefinite furloughs. Some have children who previously attended school or daycare that they must care for while they juggle their job that now must be done from the home. They might have close friends or family members who were diagnosed with COVID-19. Now combine these stresses with the fact that company policies haven’t necessarily changed. Customers are increasingly frustrated with reps who are not empowered to resolve issues on their own. There’s an underlying sense of general frustration with the service experience itself. 

Effort from an agent’s perspective

Consider it from the agent’s perspective. Reps are now handling a much higher volume of high-anxiety calls. They are forced to resolve issues when policies and guidelines haven’t yet changed. Due to lack of empowerment, lack of infrastructure, and a dwindling support system of coworkers to lean on for quick questions, they are feeling beat down by the system. If that isn’t enough, they are also being hammered down with some of the same concerns the customers are coping with. 

Reducing customer effort during the pandemic

After diving into the findings inside our platform, we were able to identify three best practices that can help CX and service leaders support frontline reps and customers, while also reducing effort and mitigating disloyalty. In this webinar, Tethr’s Matt Dixon, Chief Product and Research Officer, and Ted McKenna, SVP of Product, reveal Tethr’s findings and give recommendations for navigating customer effort in a crisis.

Check out our COVID-19 dashboard and categories and see what Tethr can do for you.

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