How to Revamp Customer Service after COVID – 19 – 3 Steps for a Stellar Customer Service Experience? It is a very basic question in the mind of people around the world. Customer service will never be the same again. This is a reality. COVID – 19 has drastically changed everything. However, as companies come to terms with a new reality, they also need to understand the customer services need to be drastically changed as well.
Companies around the world need to pave new ideas. New concepts. And new strategies. For over 8 months, the entire globe has been under lockdown. This has orchestrated a new revolution. People that once needed to go out can now use online services, applications, and the digital experience to get services.
This is a reality. However, the majority of companies have forgotten that this new methodology is here to stay. The world is now pruning to using technology for all services.
If you call a call center of any telephony company in Canada or in the United States of America, the agents can help you with a variety of issues. These agents can immediately upgrade, downgrade, and even modify your packages. These agents are allowed to assist you in your billing and services.
A very similar case also takes place in the banking sector. In fact, the online customer service platforms are increasingly providing more services on a click of a mouse. Canada’s banking system is readjusting to provide more services to its valued customers online especially after COVID-19. They are looking to make provide more services online like mortgage services and e-commerce integration. The online platform is now the customer service experience. Uber, FoodPanda, and many others are just the nascent start. They are telling you that services are all on the digital platform. More services and uniqueness can be created through the online platform experience.
Pakistan: The Myth of Service Creation
Unfortunately, in Pakistan, the customer service experience is limited to the call center or the business centers. And the call center agents are given a limited-service menu. If you do not believe me, call up any call center of a telephony service company. The agents cannot shift your services to prepay to postpaid. They cannot upgrade your services and provide other key service offerings.
Same is the case with the banking sector will stop the agents are simply proxies and reverted back.
In fact, very recently one of our customers was wrongly billed by PTCL. Call center experts were not able to reverse the amount. The customer had to visit a call Centre business Centre.
Time is a very important commodity. Customer service is all about experience management. The call center industry and service industry need to understand that people are now more prone to using their cellphones and promote experiences. Hence, the tools and processes need to be immediately revamped. Online services are still very limited. One issue that stops exponential growth is regulatory.
3 Stellar Tips to Create the Ultimate Service Experience
Over the course of the last 10 months, we’ve been working vigorously with companies to revamp their customer service experience. We are adding more processes and ease of experience. Here are the three ingredients to ensure that you can create a unique experience after COVID-19.
By no means are we stating that ease-of-use should be at the cost of risk? However, they should be a good balance. Ease-of-use is simply understanding how the customer would want to be facilitated through the call center, business center or online platforms
You need to place yourself in the feet of the customer. Understand how that works. This will give your ideas and strategies.
All of the customer service touchpoints need to be extremely flexible. This also means people handling your customers need to have the flexibility to make changes in the system and satisfy the customer. There will be a time where customer service will be the real reason why people choose companies.
Our company did a recent survey on fiber services in three major cities in Pakistan. The majority stated that the response and quality of response defined the service experience. When there is no issue that is the technology side of the experience. But what happens when you facilitate change and you need to talk with the company. This changes everything.
The CEO of these companies is not clear in terms of the customer experience the company is providing. How do your services play in satisfying the customer? What is the attitude of your staff? Are they empathetic?
In an industry where you have to provide physical services to a community or individual, it is imperative that you understand how your staff and processes work in terms of customer efficiency.
As per the report, the staff is not cognizant of ethics and values. In fact, many of them are not hygienically acceptable. This is a typical cable service customer service survey report analysis.
There is another twist. It is not always people that are the issue. It could also be a process. Many times it is not even the person that is responsible for the poor experience it could be the processes.
Several years ago local phone manufacturers and phone companies came to Pakistan. Many of them are no longer existent. When their phones were becoming faulty you had to go to the customer service experience centers. And the business centers were not very effective. All they had was an apologetic note.
Another good example is the leading housing society or other housing society service centers. I had the unfortunate experience of visiting Bahrai Town for the registration of my service. I visited more than 10 counters. What a poor experience.
Imagine if Bahria Town was able to create a unique experience. Have a platform that allowed customers to access their land properties. They could pay the taxes and also know of opportunities that are close to their properties.
They could completely change the customer experience. In fact, they could easily change and manipulate the situation. No more long delays. People do not need to be facilitated through business centers.
COVID-19 has clearly denoted that you can live without people. You can leave your home and still earn money. You can buy any of the important things that you need. Hence no need to travel and unnecessary meet people.
Hence the technology revolution begins. Companies that are providing services need to immediately join the digital bandwagon. They need to make applications so that customers can now use another median to connect with them. The previous experience was the call center or even the business centers. Now the world is looking forward to getting that service experience on the application level. If you have not started working on this, we highly recommend that you do it. This is going to be a major success point moving forward.
Digital experience is the future. Imagine you are providing hair salon services. Now the customer does not want to walk in. They need a platform to choose the service. They are interested in knowing the pricing, quality, and hygiene. They would even like to know the experience of others.
Top Hindrances in Pakistan
Lack of customer service experts in the field
Just because you used to take calls does not make you a call Centre expert. Or a manager. One example is of a person who was promoted continuously from an agent level. However, she never got clear guidelines for running call centers. Now she is running the call center for Bank of Punjab. But sadly her mindset is still that of an agent.
Additionally, MCB customer service is run by a finance person. How would a finance person be able to run a call center? Just like a finance person cannot become a surgeon. Similarly, they cannot run a call center. However, when you have these kinds of irrationalities, you will always be facing technology, people, and process issues.
We work closely with companies in Pakistan and realize that the person driving the customer service experience is not up to date in terms of the best experience. They lack the knowledge, skills, and delivery mindset.
Going through digital experience is all about knowing technology. And how to use that technology to develop the experience.
After COVID, companies that are revamping the processes, technology, and skills of team members are going to survive. Companies that are still holding on to the older strategies will ultimately be dead in a few months’ time.
We live in a world where the technology part plays such an important part. Along with technology, you need to bring in processes that are quick, reliable, and durable. For example, if you are in the insurance business then you simply need t to provide services within minutes or an hour? No service should be rendered greater than 1 hour.
The HR community needs to start hiring customer service experts to drive customer experience. They cannot allow experience in a call center to facilitate growth. Customer service experience is all about knowing the customer’s life cycle.
Zyma Arsalan is a seasoned professional and associated with ThinkFaculty – a business leader in business management in Pakistan that focuses on customer experience management in Pakistan.