If you are a B2C company, customer service is the backbone of your success.  You want customers to feel appreciated, have issues fixed quickly and come to expect great service from your brand – all of which can be made or broken by the quality of your customer service department.  During the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020, companies have had to adapt to world-wide shutdowns and mass restrictions on how they conduct day-to-day business.  One thing that is certain is that customer service was more important than ever and may just have evolved during quarantine.

With so many locked in their homes, cut off from simple comforts and the company of friends and family, the urge for human connection has never been higher.  Customers want to interact with people – not machines – and for many, this was the ONLY connection they had during the Covid-19 shut-in.  Going forward, your company should put the focus on making virtual channels feel more human.  Imbed opportunities to connect with live representatives all too willing to take as much time as possible to solve their problems.  For instance, offer a video chat option when a customer is scrolling for help on your website or have FB bots offer it as an option as well.  The customer will feel as if you are truly making them a priority.

It will also be imperative moving forward to focus less on flashy products and discounts and more on making their experience with your brand memorable and emotionally satisfying.  What the customer wants – what they expect – has changed because of Covid-19.  Going out of the way to provide advice from a real person or reaching out with product demos instead of pushing sales is where it’s at.  This is what garners loyal customers but, after quarantine, this will become an even more critical part of B2C success.  People were stripped of contact – of connection – and so they crave an immediate future full of it.

Something else to remember is flexibility.  With modifications being made throughout quarantine, the consumer has become accustomed to a company making services more adaptable to sensitive situations.  Consider carrying some of this over permanently to allow more options for consumers.  Perhaps a little more leniency in customer service policies or service options?

This is the time to revamp your customer service department.  One of the best ways to improve is by giving reps additional training.  Taking the time to educate them better on how to handle customer issues or even how to connect better with the average consumer will go a long way.  Employees feel empowered by and more confident with additional training.  Make sure they know there is always help just around the corner if they need it and that you are not simply leaving them blowing in the wind.  Have managers easily accessible via chat, email or video and ensure that each employee has the correct technology and tools to access answers or utilize this help.  Your staff ARE the customer service department so treat them well, enable them, encourage their growth and they will take care of consumers and strengthen your business.

After Coronavirus, business is back to being about the people.  No longer is it sales, bottom lines or spreadsheets but about how the consumer feels and how you interact with them.  This has been the driving shift in recent years but the pandemic has accelerated its priority and implementation.  The world has shifted and your company needs to evolve with it.  Work on tweaking and solidifying your customer service and the rest will soon fall into place.

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