This article was originally posted on customerthink.com
The crisis brought about by COVID-19 has created an unprecedented shift in the way we go about our daily lives. Due to the risk of viral spread, contact centers around the globe have sent employees home to work, while absenteeism rates are at an all-time high due to illness, lack of childcare, and government mandated city shutdowns. Everyone is frantically trying to find a way to navigate this new, hectic environment. Amongst all of the craziness, our industry must not forget the most importance of empathy in customer service.
Though empathy has always been top of mind for customer experience (CX) professionals, right now it is more important than ever. In an industry built on people and relationships, it is vital to humanise each conversation to understand and build connections with every customer.
Employees should be prepared to serve each customer knowing that whomever they are talking to may be affected in some way by COVID-19. For example, maybe a consumer is calling in to stop automatic payment because they just lost their job, or another consumer is calling to cancel a reservation because they just found out their mother has tested positive for COVID-19. CX professionals must be proactive – listening, thinking and connecting to make sure each interaction makes customers feel supported. Demonstrating empathy has the power to deliver the short-term benefit of satisfying customers in the moment, and the long-term benefit of creating a positive emotional connection that translates to brand loyalty. There is no better form of marketing, than creating a lasting impression of the brand based on a memorable and positive interaction with customer service.
There are many ways those in the customer experience industry can demonstrate empathy that helps relieve stress and calm fears in these trying times.
In moments like these, there is no such thing as “over communicating”. Provide critical information proactively, respond to questions and concerns with high empathy, and exercise lots of patience. Make sure all employees are trained properly in empathy to create positive memorable customer experiences.
In the midst of a crisis, long wait times can be detrimental. Implement a call back feature and make sure to update self-help portals. There is also no better time to re-think video customer service as a strategy. Video can help deepen relationships, build trust, and connect on a human level.
HGS has developed three different pandemic bots, one to screen on-site employees with a health questionnaire to help eliminate virus spread, another for employees to use for tech support when working from home and one for customers, which tracks messages for agent callbacks. All of these practical tools can help create a smooth, positive experience for…
….continuing reading ‘The Importance of Empathy in Customer Service At This Time’ here.
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