Customer service during coronavirus

Providing excellent customer service while keeping your employees safe during the coronavirus pandemic can be challenging. The most important thing is to do is to remain calm, get organized, and think outside of the box. If you need some tips on how to keep operating your business during this trying time, read on.

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COVID-19 definition

What is Coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that emerged from China in December 2019. COVID-19 spreads from person to person through the air. Symptoms include a cough, fever, and shortness of breath. In some cases the virus has proven to be deadly, however, the most at-risk individuals are seniors or people with pre-existing cardiovascular and respiratory problems.

The best way to prevent yourself from catching the virus is to avoid contact with others, wash your hands often, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

How does it affect businesses?

The coronavirus has already had an impact on the global economy. The stock market has taken a plunge, travel bans and quarantines have been enforced, and grocery stores are completely sold out in certain areas due to panic.

For the sake of prevention, many European governments have ordered all non-essential businesses and organizations (other than pharmacies, grocery stores, post offices, doctor’s offices) to shut down temporarily.

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How to prepare your business for the Coronavirus

We understand that not all jobs can be done remotely. However, if you are an e-commerce or SaaS business, we can assume that a lot of work can be done from home. Your customer service agents, developers, sales guys, and marketers can take their computers home, and continue working remotely. In essence, nothing has to change — as long as your employees have a good work ethic and stay motivated.

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Offer compensation & compromise

If you can’t ship out products, or deliver your services (for example, if you’re an airline that’s affected by the travel ban) offer your customers a compromise for compensation. For example, if you can’t issue refunds, offer your customers credits. The credits should have the equivalent value of their original purchase price and should be available to redeem in the future.

If you handle things in this way, your customers are bound to be more understanding, less frustrated, and more inclined to purchase from you again in the future.

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Mitigate losses

In times like these, it’s important to mitigate losses. Shift your focus on what’s working right now. Offer sabbaticals, let people think of new profitable projects, cut company profits to let your employees feel financially stable and safe, or offer bundles and subscriptions that bring in less revenue in the long-run but prevent cash flow issues today. It’s time to think smart and keep it cool.

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Do work you never have time to do

Focus on doing things you’ve never had time for. Maybe it’s time for the complete web redesign you’ve been putting off. Or maybe it’s time to jumpstart your blog again. Get creative, there’s always room for improvement.

Impact on customer service industries

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Refunds everywhere

When dealing with cancellations and refunds, it’s important to consider the human aspect of business and remain flexible and understanding towards your customers.

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Extreme ticket load

Ticket loads will be on the rise. It’s important to resolve as many queries as possible on the first try, as first contact resolution reduces the number of tickets in the long run.

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Overloaded chats/phones

Navigate through long call and chat queues with smart call-routing, IVR, or pre-chat forms. Give your agents the time and space to get organized and answer all customer queries effectively.

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Decreased customer satisfaction

Stay motivated and understand that current dips in customer satisfaction are only temporary. Try to think of new ways to engage with your customers that can transform the negative experience into a positive one.

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Get inspired

Take inspiration from Martinus, a Slovak book store, which continues to provide customer service online. Customer service agents are ready to advise shoppers with their book selections in video chat sessions. It’s cute, it’s effective, and it’s memorable.

Adjust resources

Because ticket volumes are high and only increasing, it’s important to re-allocate employees into customer support teams as needed. Even if the re-allocated employees aren’t knowledgeable enough regarding your product and the technical tickets surrounding it, you can assign them “beginner” tickets that deal with easy questions such as “How do I reset my password?” or “How can I upgrade my subscription?”

In this manner, your knowledgeable support employees can focus on tickets of higher complexity and importance. This is a win-win situation as you won’t be keeping your customers waiting, and you can utilize your available workforce without layoffs or new hires.

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adjust shifts

Adjust agent shifts

When ticket volumes are extremely high, it’s important to adjust agent shifts so that your customer support is available 24/7. If you can’t adjust agent shifts, think of ways to provide your customers support even when you’re not available. Think knowledge bases, forums, how-to-articles, offline chats, YouTube content — basically anything that can be utilized by your customers in self-service.

Peter Komornik

LiveAgent combines excellent live chat, ticketing and automation that allow us to provide exceptional support to our customers.

Peter Komornik, CEO
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Increase available agents

If you have the option of hiring temporary remote customer support agents, then definitely do so. As quite a few people might find themselves laid off and in a tough financial situation, it can be a lucrative position for many.

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Prepare canned messages

Preparing canned messages and automating certain email responses is a great way to resolve tickets quickly. For example, canned messages can be automatically sent to anyone requesting a refund. The message should have a pre-prepared text which walks the customer through the process and answers any FAQs regarding the refund.

Happy customers are the best customers​

We offer concierge migration services from most of the popular help desk solutions.

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Profit from real-time typing view

Anything that can save you time during a high ticket influx period is a plus. Make use of advanced help desk tools such as the real-time typing view, which allows you to see what your customers are typing on live chat before they even hit send. This gives you extra time to look up their past orders, tickets, and all other important information that you might need when assisting them.

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Keep calm

The key takeaway from all this is to stay positive and motivated. Think of out of the box solutions that can help your customers and your agents alike. Remember that this is all only temporary and that everything will return back to normal soon.

If you need a help desk solution that will fulfil all your remote work requirements, try LiveAgent. We offer a built-in call center, ticketing system and a native live chat.

Reasons why companies switched to LiveAgent

“It’s so rich in functions and beat my 5-year zendesk subscription. So I switched. Very good value for me as small business owner.” Albert

I first tried out Zendesk but after hours of configuration and understanding the price model i realized that it was not for me. Instead I started using LiveAgent and must say I’m so far very satisfied. The system got exactly the right amount of configuration that I want and I have not yet found something that is not possible to do. The support itself is great and usually answer your questions in a couple of minutes.” Erik

“We moved to LiveAgent from ZenDesk… and wouldn’t go back… It’s amazingly affordable pricing and always helpful support team who are their to help us 24×7. Secondly, the advanced level of automation which has literally replaced our need for Zapier as there’s good amount of integrations. Plus they also give so many alias emails to connect that too very easily.” Aaron

“We and our clients were constantly having trouble with ZenDesk, but after looking at different options, we chose LiveAgent based on user reviews and its price.” Adam

“I used ZenDesk for years and I was tired of these “ticket-style” emails and that I can’t attach files to my emails, only send links. What I like in LiveAgent: it sends emails (not tickets), I can attach files, organize the flow of emails easier than in ZenDesk, can chat and manage emails from the same window. Also, LiveAgent supports spreadsheets in its emails and has a great support team.” Vlad

“We switched to this system after many years of using ZenDesk. The functionality is awesome: contact forms, live chat, databases, integration with social networks – all in one service and all these modules are well thought out and competently interact with each other. I liked that the service works stably even on mobile platforms (after ZenDesk this is a huge plus for us).” Olga

“Tried various solutions including Zendesk, Freshdesk and more. Then found LiveAgent. Great tool, good value for money, ease to use, great support and help to implement. And now, after several years of use, it is still the best choice for support tool that we could have done.” Michal

“I have used many other help desk system before such as LiveZilla, Zopim, Zendesk, Freshdesk, Desk.com, and etc. LiveAgent has beaten them in every way due to its pricing, features, customer support, and mobile features.” Harrison

You Will Be in Good Hands!​

Do you know what Huawei, BMW, Yamaha, O2 and Oxford University have in common? You guessed right… LiveAgent!

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