How to manage customer service during COVID-19 holiday season

Simplifying CX YouTube series episode on how to manage customer service during COVID-19 holiday season.

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Video transcript

Hi everyone, My name is Myra Golden, I’m Customer Experience Designer at Myra Golden Seminars, and I’m the first-ever guest host here at Simplifying CX.

If you’re new to this channel, welcome! The Simplifying CX series is here to provide you with straightforward answers to the biggest CX challenges. If that sounds relevant to you, don’t forget to subscribe! 

Today I’m going to share with you the top 3 things to keep in mind as you manage customer service during the COVID-19 holiday season. 

They are Your Team, Customers, and Feedback.

Let’s start with your Team. There are 4 elements to ensuring that your team stays happy and productive during this challenging season.

The first is: Communicate with your team. This means ensuring your team is clear on all promotions, social distancing procedures, and expectations.

The second is: Empower your team. Reduce delays and customer frustration by empowering customer service agents to make decisions so they don’t wait for permission to resolve issues.

Third is: Train your team. Equip employees to handle demanding customers and complex interactions. You can use data from the last holiday season to help you predict issues and prepare responses and solutions to the top concerns. You can also train chat agents to write in a human tone and your brand voice.

Lastly: Nurture your team and take the pressure off.

If you’re a B2C retailer, for example, hire security to enforce mask and distancing requirements in your brick and mortar stores. Or, potluck lunch so they don’t have to go to the food court.

You could also have All Hands on Deck for Customer Support. Meaning, hire temp workers for phones, chat, or pull people from other departments to support. The goal is to ensure fast customer response during a peak period.

Now let’s move onto our second component to remember: Customers. During these times, you should help reduce customer anxiety.

For example, if you’re a B2C retailer, clearly specify customer flow, so it’s easy for customers to enjoy the shopping experience while maintaining social distance.

For the online experience, make sure to update any policies that may change with the rush/COVID-19.

Speed is also important. You should set goals and processes that will keep customers happy. Reducing hold times can be a goal. For example: answering 80% of calls in less than 20 seconds.

To increase the speed you can also ramp up staff, so you minimize chat wait times and times between agent response.

Lastly, Less bot and more human interaction. Provide real support, not just “being there.”

The third and final thing to remember is feedback. Capture what you learn from the COVID-19 Holiday season to prepare you and ensure business continuity for whatever lies ahead.

What were your biggest wins? What worked? What didn’t? What will you keep, improve, start, or stop doing?

For a complete guide on how to manage customer service during the COVID-19 holiday season, click on the description section of this video. 

Also, if there’s a topic that you’d like my friends at Simplifying CX to cover, tell us in the comments section! 

And make sure to subscribe now to see more videos that simplify CX. 

Until next time!  

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