Tackling customer service challenges in remote times

The customer service industry is tackling one of its biggest challenges ever. The pandemic situation is throwing curveballs at support teams all over the world. So, how do you make customer service work in these remote times? We talked to Patrik Weiland, Customer Experience Manager at Telavox, to learn how to leverage the right methods and tools to maintain efficient support and strengthen your customer relationships.

As a Customer Experience Manager, Patrik Weiland makes sure that the clients are satisfied. To him, “good enough” isn’t good enough. His goal is to increase customer satisfaction and reduce churn.

patrik-weiland-roundYour support staff – an ear to the ground

Each Telavox customer get a Customer Success Manager, a dedicated contact that can help with just about everything.

“If the Customer Success Managers are happy, so are the customers. The Customer Success Managers are our ear to the ground since they have direct contact with the customers.”

In the time of the virus, Patrik Weiland works from home. He’s glad to be able to work remotely, and he feels like he can work more efficiently. But how is customer service as a whole affected when we’re working remotely?

“What’s important for companies in the industry is that there are people available to take incoming calls and that mails get to the right person. It might not seem very time consuming when a call goes to the wrong employee, but in the long run, it will add up to hours, and that’s a huge cost.”

Patrik says that the pandemic situation has spawned new types of support matters.

“It’s a novel situation for the customer service industry. In times like these, you need to assist the customer in their support journey and make it as smooth as possible. Be available, attentive, and take it one step at a time.”

A blow to the travel industry

According to Patrik Weiland, the pandemic has affected customer service suppliers differently depending on the industry. But there’s no doubt that it has hit the travel industry the hardest.

“It would be a great help to them if they had systems to manage rebooking tickets. It’s a big problem since virtually no one is flying now. If they had a way to automate that they could reduce their mail and phone traffic with about 60 per cent.”

Info and proactive measures are the way forward

Patrik Weiland sees it as a failure if a client has to call customer service, because if they do, the company hasn’t been transparent in its communication.

“We should enable them to solve their problems on their own without having to contact support. A lot of people are happy as long as there’s information to be found. They don’t want to be left in the dark. Be transparent and proactive in all the ways you can. Imagine what questions the customer will ask and prepare for that.”

So what is the biggest challenge facing customer service companies today?

“Scalability, definitely. Because of the current situation, some companies have to lay people off, while others have to staff differently. This rapid increase and decrease in volume isn’t something they’ve prepared for.”

Automate frequently asked questions

A solution to this, according to Patrik Weiland, is to work more with automation.

“Make sure you understand the customers’ problems and pains. A good way to measure this is to give them options when choosing the topics they need help with. What’s the most common problem? Identify it and make sure that the customer knows how to solve this.”

He exemplifies that this can be such a simple thing as sending reminders about an invoice, or a text message with payment details.

“It’s all about informing the customer. If you can solve the most frequently asked questions, your staff will work more effectively, focus on building a relationship with the client and provide added value.”

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