How to Manage Customer Interactions During an Outage
Do you have a plan for managing customer interactions during an outage?
Despite all of your planning, various investments in facilities/technologies, expert employees and best efforts, sometimes you just can’t help things going wrong… Weather/natural situations can rarely be prevented. And sometimes neither can the actions of third-party partners, support- or just general human error!
One thing you can control, though, is the way in which you manage the situation…
Throughout the past few years, it’s become a lot more complicated to manage customer interactions during an outage…
1. Customer support is now 24/7- there’s not much “down-time” to allow you to get back up and running, without customers being affected, or noticing.
2. The Customer Service Advisors/Representatives’ job roles are now more specialised than they once were- as much as this improves the Customer’s experience, it also means it’s harder to switch in Advisors from elsewhere, or to quickly train new Advisors when outages happen.
The big question is, what steps can you take to ensure that you’re minimising the impact on customers’ experience?
1. Outline and Document the Process
Be sure to outline all steps and ownership for every possible circumstance you can think of, and document; so that when it comes to it, everyone knows exactly what they need to do to get things up and running again.
2. Cover Numerous Contact Methods
Make sure you have back-up communication methods ready and waiting to switch to, should you need to.
Although you want to steer clear of moving customers across to alternative contact methods day-to-day, you do want to keep the customer updated. In situations like this, it may be necessary to choose a contact method on behalf of your customer.
3. Use Software to your Advantage
Rather than leave your customer waiting on the line/on a response, or repeatedly calling back, set-up an IVR to explain the situation to the customer and give them the option to request a call-back. You can also provide alternative contact methods, which may be appropriate in certain situations (depending on the nature of the issue); such as Social Media.
4. Be Honest and Transparent
Be honest with your customer about the issue, its cause, how it will affect them- then keep them updated. Where possible, make sure you are providing accurate timescales and provide them with alternatives.
5. Have a Plan B
Yes, that’s right, make sure you have a plan B in addition to all of the above… Now we’ve got you thinking!
If you’d like to talk to us about your customer contact requirements, simply get in touch.
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