COVID has flipped everything on it’s head, not the least of which is Customer Service. Not the kind of customer service where you used to be able to walk up to a Teller window, but the new customer service where you have to call in to a help desk to ask a question, and often wait on hold until someone picks up.
If you run a call center, you know the challenges – some employees working from home, some from the office. Most phone system routing and queue management systems were not designed to handle these situations fluidly.
Because of a few recent terrible customer service experiences, we recommend making a few calls into your own lines as a “secret shopper” or whatever they call it these days and see what the experience is. It may not be as good as you think it is.
Being challenged by how to handle Customer Service during COVID? You’re not alone! Take a look at how customer care is being handled across industries:
What is your customer seeing?
Here is a short experience journey one of our clients had with their financial institution that probably believes they are doing the right thing:
I reached out to the FI’s Mortgage Department to remove Mortgage Insurance, having met the qualifications to do so some time ago.
I submitted my request to a Customer Service Representative. About a week later I received a letter stating my account did not satisfy the requirements to close the account.
Knowing this was a mistake, I called back and spoke to a Customer Service Rep again, informed them of the issue and was told they understood and for some reason the department that completes those requests did the calculation incorrectly.
He suggested calling one of the people in that area to discuss the problem. However, due to COVID, he discovered that they worked from various locations and there was no way to call them directly.
To make a long story short, after 6 phone calls and an email to the President of the FI the problem was resolved 6 weeks later. Something that should have taken 10 minutes instead involved several staff members, including senior management, and just a ton of my own personal time.
More importantly, it caused a lasting negative impression on me, and this was a financial institution that previously had very strong customer support. The negative effect is that this story has now been told several times to other potential customers of that FI. Previous, to this situation I always received A+ service and reliable answers to questions.
Just the fact that our customer took the time to relay it to us means something. It means that we will never say the name of the FI without thinking of this story.
What is the old saying, “You can do it right all the time and they rarely tell your story, but screw it up just once, and the story gets re-told a dozen times.”
That is probably not exactly how the saying goes but you get the idea. Make a few phone calls and make sure your customer service journey didn’t get COVID 19. All it takes is one cough and a high temperature… and you’re looking at an unpleasant outcome.
For inventive ways on how to stay connected with your customers during the pandemic, check out this article: