Analytics & Insights
Pandemic Insights with COVID-19 Data
What we learned from preparing and modeling COVID-19 dataRead More
Author: Craig Kreps
Whether it was digital or in-person, you probably remember the last time you contacted customer support to resolve an issue. You remember how long you waited or didn’t wait and whether the interaction made you feel that the company was “easy to do business with”. More than ever before, companies are faced with staffing the right number of people or launching the right technology to keep the customer happy and deliver on ever evolving needs. I have a good starting point for you; let’s look at the data.
It’s tough to be fully prepared when unpredictable events occur. Nobody predicted two months ago that a novel global pandemic would hit and some industries would literally shut down. Now there is an elevated sense of urgency to do something now. That’s okay, let’s move quickly with these steps:
Take the airline industry as an example. The global crisis hits and customer support volume spikes through the roof. There are not enough agents to handle the volume and the technology isn’t enabled (yet) for customers to self-serve. What should we do?
First, look at the data to analyze both support volume and call reason trends and compare to prior years. Data can tell us so many things. Is there a certain time of the day you see a huge spike in volume? Are customers contacting support for a specific reason? What channels are customers using most – phone, email, chat or self-service through the app or website? The data will be the foundation for the next step.
Now that we have analyzed the data, let’s create a plan. If customers are calling to cancel or reschedule service during a certain day/time interval, we can staff accordingly or use technology to help. Ramp-up during high times and scale back during low times. Leverage callback or other technology options. Waive certain fees. Create a plan that puts the customer first.
Since we have grounded ourselves in the data and formed a plan, communication to the customer is key. In times of change, let your values shine through. You have listened to their feedback and are creating plans to make their experience better. You care about them and their experience. There is no such thing as over-communicating during these times.
Unpredictable change creates quick and nimble action. It may feel like you’re putting customers and employees at risk. You may feel like you don’t have all of the answers right away so a solid foundation of facts will help.
Take some time now to get grounded in the data. Your customers and employees will thank you. And during times like these, a “thank you” goes a long way.
Craig Kreps is a Consulting Manager at RevGen. He is passionate about helping clients connect the dots across the customer journey and building customer-centric cultures. Craig has helped build customer support and CX teams across multiple industries by focusing on and practicing a “customers first” mentality.