customer care

7 Ways Customer Care Has Been Changed by the Global Pandemic

You’re powering on your laptop and headset at your desk in your bedroom alcove, getting the kids ready for another day of remote online learning while rushing to fix your hair or makeup in preparation for a corporate Zoom meeting. You use a Zoom background and have your mute button ready in case one of your little ones or dogs decide to pay you a much-dreaded visit during your call. Sound familiar? It does for many of us! This has not been an easy time to work, let alone in customer care service! There have been, and still are, challenges to face and overcome. 

Customer Service During the Pandemic

Good customer service always evolves with the ever-changing needs and preferences of customers. However, Covid-19 amplifies this and continues to test our industry. Some businesses do better than others. Some fail and cause customers a lot of frustration, while others don’t seem to miss a beat. Some of the changes that had to be made and lessons learned will more than likely stick around well after Covid-19.

Covid-19: Unexpected Takeaways

In addition to adjusting to a new work-at-home reality, many of us have had to overcome personal challenges and losses during this pandemic. Since these troubles are common across our nation and our world, they serve as a unifying factor. Cities across the US use the motto stronger together as an encouragement to support and help each other both personally and professionally. These words are the much-needed glue that holds us together. Let’s explore some of the positive takeaways from these trying times:

1. New Skills and Tools – Many of us had to learn new tools or platforms to be able to work from home. We were able to ramp up and master these tools at a remarkable speed. 

2. Working Remotely – We learned how to manage or be part of a remote team. We also proved that it’s possible! Not all of us are comfortable meeting on video screens, but we adapted and learned how to communicate effectively while also maintaining a human touch through virtual happy hours, game nights, and parties.

3. Deepened Empathy – Empathy has always been an important skill for anyone in a customer care role. The common challenges and hardships Covid-19 brought to us inspired a vastly different, and heightened, level of empathy. 

4. More Patience – As problems and challenges mount, tempers can sometimes flare. However, we learned to be more patient with each other since we understand that it isn’t just “another bad day,” but worn-out psyches from months of the same difficulties that we’re all going through.

5. Increased Focus – For those who were easily distracted by the slightest noise or interference in the environment, we’ve learned how to overcome those while working at home. Everything from household sounds, to noisy children and barking dogs, we’ve learned how to tune them out and remain focused.

6. Flexibility and Adaptability – Whether having to learn to work in a space that is a fraction of what you’re used, manage with less resources or technology at your disposal or deal with a not-always-reliable internet service, we’ve learned how to be more flexible and adaptable.

7. Strength and Resilience – Last but not least, we have proven to ourselves that we can overcome what seemed at first to be insurmountable challenges. The level of fortitude and resilience required of many of us – especially our healthcare workers – is jaw-dropping. We will look back with pride on all that we have overcome.

Customer care will probably never be the same after Covid-19. Many of us have proven our ability to jump over hurdles, adapt to change, embrace new technology, and think out of the box while caring about each other in ways we never thought possible. We are stronger together. These life lessons will remain with us and serve us well throughout our personal and professional lives.

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Customer Service Institute of America