If your business is like most, you’re probably a lot busier than you were in 2020. Outside of a handful of industries and products that turned out to be tailor-made for a socially distanced world, most of the economy is basically trying to go from 0 to 60 in nothing flat. It can be tough filling orders given a sudden surge in demand, especially if you’re short-staffed or training a lot of new hires.
There might not be much you can do about long lead times and keeping items in stock, but you can at least let people know what’s going on. An attention to customer service will keep customers coming back when things return to some semblance of normal. On the flip side, people will remember sitting on hold for hours at a time only to get cut off before their question can be answered. For a lot of simple and frequently asked questions, chatbots can provide answers much faster than a phone call and at all hours. They’re not for everything, but they can sure help cut down on hold times if they cause fewer people to be dialing in. People appreciate a quick and easy answer to a simple question, and a lot of younger people simply hate phone calls.
For those more complex questions that require a person to answer, getting knowledgeable and nice people trained up quickly will leave customers feeling good about your customer service. You might not be able to solve every problem, but people will respond positively to being treated as if their call is actually important — as opposed to just hearing a recording tell them their call is important while they wait for hours for someone to answer. Even if it means overstaffing by a lot to make sure phones get answered, that could make a big difference in the long run if it makes for a loyal customer. And with remote work, it’s not as if you have to worry about running out of space in a call center.
Customer service is the bedrock of a successful business. That was especially true in the heart of the pandemic when your business was scrambling to hold on to every client it could, and it’s true now when businesses are scrambling to keep up. Treat people with respect now and they’ll happily come back when things settle down.