Customers are visiting FAQ pages more frequently, signing into customer portals regularly, and reaching out across all channels for help in navigating the uncertainty during the coronavirus pandemic. As your team works day in and day out to make your customers feel supported and cared for, your self-service channels play a big role in handling the high contact volume.
Self-service is a powerful tool for customers during a time of crisis, as they look for quick answers to common questions. To ensure your self-service channels make the biggest impact, what can you do quickly — even in just one hour — before your day begins?
Taking a few minutes to connect with your team will help you understand the most common customer questions to address in your help centre.
Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, meeting with your team gets everybody on the same page. Ask agents for commonly asked customer questions they receive across all channels, during the crisis. This includes questions via the call centre and how they resolve them.
Throughout the course of the day, encourage agents to use simple collaboration tools they can update on the fly with frequent customer requests related to the crisis. With a single source of truth, agents can record how they resolved their cases to help colleagues with similar future cases.
Use your list of frequently asked questions as a cue to create content on your help center, such as updates on delayed orders or how to get a refund for a service. If it makes sense for your organisation, consider a dedicated section on your help centre with featured articles specific to the crisis. For example, Pearson updated the home page on their support site with information about delays due to COVID-19, directing people to their self-service options.
Reviewing and, where necessary, adding or updating messaging on your self-service channels assures customers your organisation is sensitive to what they are going through.
Consider creating a banner that appears at the top of your home page with specific instructions or with a direct link to your help centre. Retailers like Argos have a clear message to let customers know there may be long wait times on orders. If you have a customer portal, personalise the banner message at the top of the page as well.
And, offer the option for customers to easily opt-in to receive real-time notifications or updates, such as the timing of a late delivery or payment.
If you keep your bot’s general welcome message, it may feel out of touch to customers. Re-evaluate the first message that appears when a customer reaches out. Consider updating or adding a few words that are empathic to the current situation and address common requests, such as how to make a cancellation and receive updates related to COVID-19.
Keep agents aware of new and existing protocols during the crisis and other internal changes with a knowledge article. Develop an externally-facing version, as well, to keep customers informed.
Simplifying processes and making it easier to find information goes a long way for customers, and frees up agents from high-volume cases.
In a time of crisis, customers don’t want to take time to search for a contact page. With a simple widget or code snippet, you can integrate a fixed channel menu on your help centre or website. This surfaces all available support channels to customers or can direct them to a web-to-case input form, a community, or a knowledge base.
Review your data to find specific keywords that keep coming in via your chatbots. For easy answers, make sure you have an FAQ the chatbot can use to answer questions. For more sensitive topics, have your chatbot immediately offer to transfer to an agent.
In your customer portal, you can automate specific processes to help customers do them on their own (and alleviate agents from high-volume calls). By integrating a workflow on your end, such as canceling an order, the automation process appears on their screen and walks customers through each step.
With just a few simple updates, you can ensure your self-service channels are working hard to handle the high contact volume during this unprecedented time.
Looking to build Self-Service experiences to scale your customer support? Visit our Trailhead Project to learn how: Set Up a Customer Community.
To get more tips on navigating change, read other articles in our Leading Through Change series. Find thought leadership, tips, and resources to help business leaders manage through crisis.
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