Customer services

COVID-19 is not an excuse for poor customer service

19 Nov 2020

There’s no denying the devastation and disruption COVID-19 has brought upon businesses across the globe. Virtually overnight organisations had to change the way they operate, moving from the office to working from home to follow government guidelines. Understandably, this presented challenges for businesses who were unprepared. 

But, we’re now 8 months on from the beginning of the first UK Lockdown. Customers were understanding of the difficulties businesses were faced with, however, are some organisations using the excuse of COVID-19 as a convenient knee-jerk excuse to poor customer service?

In a study carried out by it was found that In September, nearly 40 % of energy customers were left on hold for more than 20 minutes. The average wait times to speak to mortgage providers were 18 minutes, longer than current account and credit card providers, at 14 minutes and 11 minutes respectively. And, some firms have stopped providing phone support altogether. Sky tells customers ‘not to call us at this time’, as it is not yet ‘up and running as normal’. It says you can do most things on its website. High Street retailer New Look also states on its website that it does not have a phone number customers can call, and Topshop has closed its customer call centres. Instead, it tells customers to email.

We get it, things still aren’t back to normal. Things don’t always go smoothly, production lines and manufacturing may be delayed, but, we’re over 6 months on, businesses must have enough call centre staff to handle customer issues. 

It seems some businesses are ploughing money and resources into advertising and sales, and not managing customer service effectively. Those customers who try to chase up undelivered orders, claim refunds, or have questions about their product or service are hitting severe roadblocks, like 20+ min wait times, or no response from customer service teams at all. 

When the pandemic is over, consumers will remember the amazing customer service they received from businesses and these will be the ones that will best weather the storm and reemerge in a position of strength. 

What can you do? 

It’s time to stop hiding behind COVID-19. If you can’t get inbound calls to the right staff, are struggling to manage your customer enquiries, or simply haven’t got the right tools in place to effectively manage your customer services while working from home then it’s time to make a change. 

Outsourcing your customer services to a professional, experienced third-party takes all the pressure off you and gives you time to focus on running your business, all while ensuring you’re giving the highest levels of customer service to your clients. You’re able to get the support from Solid8 on a short or long-term basis. We’re able to get everything set-up quickly and remotely, with no need to visit your premises. For more information on how we can help please contact the team on 01256 597 888.

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