Right now, there are entire industries trying to figure out what customer support looks like during COVID-19, and as Head of Customer Support for a highly people-focused company, I wanted to share my best advice for leading a strong support strategy during trying times.
Wondering how to support your customers right now? Here are some basic principles worth remembering for customer support teams
1. Empathy. Empathy. Empathy.
We’re all going through a huge time of uncertainty, and uncertainty causes anxiety. Our customers are nervous about what’s to come, and need a voice of reassurance. Now more than ever we need to be sensitive, kind and considerate. We need to be real with our customers and acknowledge that this situation is hard. While we can’t solve all of the challenges they face, we can still make a powerful impact by lending an ear and making them feel understood.
2. Help with what you have.
“How can we help with what we have?” Our CEO Eran Henig posed this question in a recent virtual townhall, and it pretty well sums up our strategy for the entire company right now. We’ve always been on a mission to empower our clients and partners, but the reality of COVID-19 has us exploring all-new ways to do so. Like Thriver Card, our new prepaid employee card that enables companies to support their teams with essentials and services while working from home. Or our care packages full of locally-sourced coffee and snacks that not only support remote employees, but they support our partners and local businesses too. If you’ve got a company with bright minds and resources, now’s the time to ask yourselves, “How can we help with what we have?”
3. Keep in touch.
In these unusual times, it’s so important to keep following up with people; simply checking in and wishing them well. Teammates, partners, employees, customers… these are all important relationships that need nurturing right now, because we all need nurturing right now. Whether its scheduling daily check-ins with the team, or sending some warm wishes to those partners and customers you haven’t heard from in a while, these regular touch points are critical. There’s no denying the challenge we face with social distancing, which is why we have to keep the lines of communication open and find ways to stay connected however we can.
4. Keep spirits up.
Staying positive is one of the greatest acts of support we can offer our clients right now; a little levity; a few moments of fun. As a company we’ve always been dedicated to making employees feel engaged and excited about their workday, and a little lockdown hasn’t stopped us from doing that. In early March, as soon as it started to sink in that a return to the office was not on the near horizon, we created a free tool for our customers – 29 Ways to Fuel Team Spirit from Home – so we could offer at least a month’s worth of ideas for them to boost morale remotely, while we all get settled into this new reality. And given the indefinite nature of this new reality, this team spirit tool we created will be the first of many.
I’m proud to be part of a company that’s so focused on helping our customers and partners through positive initiatives, and if anyone reading this would like to learn more about keeping teams and customers supported during COVID, I’m here for you!