How customer service has evolved in 2020
The world has changed. Dramatically. No one could have expected it as we were counting in the New Year and merrily singing Auld Lang Syne. Yet here we are, hurtling towards another New Year, the world a completely different place.
It has affected every aspect of our lives, from our home to our work. And that rings just as true for customer service. It used to be in customer service if you didn’t pick up after three rings, you were too slow. If you didn’t call a customer back immediately, it was as if the sky were falling. So people wanted to provide the best in customer service; after all, 86% of buyers were willing to spend more on companies that provided a great customer experience.
But when the pandemic hit and companies began working from home, there was an attitude shift. They thought customer service didn’t have to be so strict. But we think that’s a mistake – customer service is more important now more than ever.
It’s all about attitude
We’ve all grown used to work and life blending together. The Zoom calls in the pyjamas. Going on mute while you get your Amazon delivery. Everyone’s having the same experiences, so customers are more patient with you. So you don’t call them back – they understand. You’re probably too swamped.
But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. We could all eat an entire chocolate cake, but it doesn’t mean we should. For multiple reasons. It’s the same with your customer service. The world is different and customer expectations will be too. A survey by McKinsey found 66% of businesses were expecting digital interactions to become more important.
It isn’t time to move backwards; it’s an opportunity to be better. Can your customer wait until tomorrow for a call back? Maybe, but wouldn’t it be more impactful if you made time for it now? It requires you to change your attitude and take a more positive, proactive approach. If you don’t, your competition will; more than two-thirds of companies are competing on the basis of their customer experience. How are you keeping up?
Customer loyalty – a two-way street
You must recognise the importance of customer loyalty. One of the oldest business facts in the book is that it costs you five times more to sign up a new customer than it does to retain your current ones. And existing customers are 50% more likely to try a new product or service of yours. Basically, if you keep them happy, you keep yourself happy.
But customer loyalty is a two-way street. You want them to be loyal to you and guess what? They want the same from you. Business is a double act. Every Ant needs a Dec. Every Penn needs a Teller. Every Jedward needs… the other Jedward. And you and your customers need each other, too.
What that means at this point in 2020 is different from what it was at the start. It isn’t just about answering their calls on time or offering them the best deals. There’s more to it now – an extra human element. An understanding of where someone might be in their life.
You saw this at the start of the pandemic. For example, Pret a Manger was offering free hot drinks to NHS workers. Banks waiving interest on overdrafts. There will have been companies up and down the country deferring payments for their customers while they found their feet again. They were all loyal to their customers in a way their resources allowed. And as we aim to bring Britain back better, ask yourself, what are you doing to show your customers your loyalty?
You need to service your customers at every point in the journey. Being loyal to your customer means giving them the service they deserve. In your own small way, shouldn’t that mean doing all you can. You don’t have to answer every call, but shouldn’t you?
They might understand if you answer the phone to the dog barking in the background or your kid going crazy on the kazoo, but shouldn’t you find another way? We understand that these ifs and buts are easier said than done, but everything worth having is worth fighting for. If you want to provide the best in customer service right now, strive for professionalism. And that starts with your phone lines.
At alldayPA, leave the heavy lifting to us. We’re here to complement your team and provide you with professionals you can trust to put your best face forward. To find out more about our phone answering service, get in touch on 0345 056 8888.