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How Contact Centers Can Adapt to Address Coronavirus Concerns

Perhaps more viral than Coronavirus itself is the fear and uncertainty consuming our global and social conversations. In a time of mass consumer and social fear, how can organizations respond? My guess is that many of you are asking this question right now.

One of the best ways we can respond is by understanding our customers’ perceptions and develop effective responses based on those perceptions. To separate myth from fact, and to develop nimble and real-time responses to concerns and misperceptions that customers may have.  

Managing customer fear requires a data-backed understanding of their perceptions and carefully coordinated responses from business leaders and those who are interacting with those customers every day.

Your contact center is likely receiving a barrage of questions right now about how the Coronavirus pandemic is affecting the experience of your customers. They are depending upon your teams to have a response that provides them clarity on “where they stand” relative to their relationship with you during this uncertain time.

In the spirit of wanting to contribute to a solution, rather than standing by, we are offering up a framework for how to help your customers during this time of uncertainty. 

1. Listen to Your Customers

In order to address their fears and concerns, you need to really listen to what your customers are saying. Without being prompted, your customers are telling you how they’re feeling in their chat, email, and phone conversations with your team. 

Start by sampling 3-5% of your recorded customer interactions as a component of your Coronavirus business continuity plan. Intentionally listen and document the questions, concerns, and insights you hear. This will allow you to aggregate insights and quantify customer concerns by type.

2. Uncover Customer Insights

Use the qualitative and quantitative data collected from your customer interactions to answer the following questions:

  • What are my customers’ fears about our business right now? 
  • What questions are they asking relative to Coronavirus and how our business is responding?
  • How effectively is my team responding to these concerns?
  • Where are the gaps in our response plan?

3. Take Action

Develop a response plan that addresses the trends, themes, and gaps discovered during your analysis. Here’s a hypothetical example of how this might play out: 

An insurance company customer service line is receiving higher than average call volume. By evaluating a valid sample of these contact center conversations, we can learn that 60% of callers are mentioning Coronavirus as something that they are concerned about.  Within those interactions the 3 most comment questions customers are asking are:

  1. Is your business still actively processing claims or will my claim payment be delayed?
  2. Are there any special benefits that are covered by my insurance company during this pandemic?
  3. Do you offer a grace period during this health crisis for premium payments?

From this data, leaders can derive a strategic and coordinated communication plan that addresses these questions on a variety of fronts, such as posting communications proactively on your website and customer portals, arming your customer service teams with scripts that address these questions, and developing business processes that support an effective resolution to these types of concerns.

How Authenticx can help:  Authenticx can provide rapid and representative insights as consumer voices express their perceptions of the Coronavirus and ask businesses questions.  We can identify the true nature of the concern, and assist leaders in developing strategies for a coordinated response that is based on their customer’s perceptions. 

how to help customers during coronavirus
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