Customer Service and Your Crisis Management Plan

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2 minute read

A damaging corporate crisis seems to lurk around every corner, from stock market bubbles to ill-advised tweets. Or more recently, wildly unpredictable meme stock price surges that have the potential to wipe out billion-dollar hedge funds.

Your crisis management plan will be critical to the long-term success of the business. Indeed, make a mistake and the very future of the firm could be at stake.

 

Panicked people crave information

When your customers fear their money is at risk, providing reassurance is vital. In order to reassure customers, there is an immediate need for accurate information.

Without reliable updates from the source (you), rumour and speculation begin to circulate. In the age of social media this process propagation of half-truths is accelerated, making it much harder, or impossible, to regain control of the news cycle. Customer panic becomes completely justifiable if they cannot get the information they need from their bank.

To manage a crisis well, your firm needs a strategy that ensures you reach people with the right information at the right time through the most appropriate channels.

 

Proactivity buys time

While customers demand more information during a crisis, your customer-facing teams will be wanting more time to prepare an official response. Buying time involves developing a crisis management plan well in advance of an actual emergency.

In terms of delivering a decent level of customer service, you must anticipate the questions they will ask – and formulate initial responses. You must also carefully consider how you answer those messages are disseminated. There is a temptation to leverage social media channels because of their exceptional reach – but is that really the most appropriate route when dealing with concerned customers who demand a more personalised service?

 

Customers will contact you

Customers won’t just wait for an update during a crisis – many will contact your support team of their account manager directly. Your crisis management plan must address how to deal with these requests most efficiently and effectively.

Indeed, it is during a crisis that Customer Service Management (CSM) technology shines. Many aspects of your crisis comms strategy can be converted into playbooks that automate and accelerate common activities.

Take incoming queries for instance. A customer logs into the account management portal and begins a live chat session. You can ask them to classify their own query with an automated question or two, then route the client according to the appropriate playbook rules. You may even be able to answer the question immediately, automatically without further manual involvement.

If the issue needs to be escalated, the customer is connected to the right agent to assist with their query first time. At the same time, the agent has access to all of the relevant account data to provide a first-class, personalised service – even in the middle of a major business crisis.

Using CSM you can automatically provide low level information quickly, use people to provide reassurance. At the same time you relieve the burden on your service team, freeing them to deal with the issues that do require manual input. Importantly, everyone gets the information and reassurance they want, helping you to better navigate – and mitigate - the crisis.

To learn more about the role of CSM in your crisis management plan, and how it can help you deliver an exceptional customer service in all circumstances, please get in touch.

 

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