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Managing Customer Care Crisis Communications Through Social Media

managing-customer-care-crisis-communications

Because of COVID-19, our customer care crisis communications are on the rise. Our days are still filled with regular customer service requests. And now, we’re also tasked with handling conversations around the coronavirus.

To help you, we want to share our process for crisis communications on social media. These tips are always good and are especially relevant during times of unease.

Here’s how you can use social media wisely during a crisis.

Customer Care Communications

First, let’s start with customer care on social. More and more people use social media to ask questions, make complaints, or look for product information. Having a customer service, or customer care team, to meet them there is imperative.

Research from the Walker report, Customers 2020, shows why social is a growing channel for customer care communications.

walker-customer2020-communication-channels[Image Source]

For one, most customers find it’s faster to reach out directly from a social channel. Additionally …

  • Customers expect a personalized experience
  • Immediate gratification is not fast enough
  • Consumers will communicate with you through their preferred method (not yours)

Secondly, brands need to provide customer support that’s customer-centric through the use of social channels.

Finally, once you have this foundation is established, you can address crisis communications.

Adjusting To The “New Normal”

To start, it’s helpful to have empathy for everyone’s “new normal.”

Millions of people are now working from home. That’s up drastically from around 29% of Americans who normally work from home. Companies that outsource their customer care overseas may also be seeing issues with agents being available.

People everywhere are …

  • Using and managing unfamiliar software
  • Creating entirely new processes to manage everyday workloads
  • Working remote for the first time
  • Managing child care while working remotely
  • Experiencing increased stress, anxiety, and fear around the virus

Agents who deal with customer-facing services have to manage situations with extreme sensitivity while at the same time having thick skin of their own.

Dealing with customer care crisis communications will take an extremely gifted individual. Be sure you’re doing all you can as a leader or manager to ensure they have what they need to get the job done.

Customer Care Crisis Communications

Moving on, challenging times require a special kind of communication. These are often referred to as crisis communications.

Today, we’re focusing on customer care crisis communications. This means that in addition to the “normal” requests your customer care team receives, they’re also likely to encounter questions about the crisis environment. Right now, that’s COVID-19.

For instance, people under quarantine are likely to contact restaurants or grocers about food deliveries. These companies — and others — need to be prepared for increased requests.

Here’s how your team can prep for this spike in communication.

  • Include self-service information or FAQs to educate customers on coronavirus policies and issues pertaining to your company
  • When using chatbots, consider creating a coronavirus-specific menu
  • If available, offer specific cancellation policies customers may need

Furthermore, you may also need to reevaluate your technology now that most workers must work from home.

  • Evaluate your hardware, software, or logistical shortcomings. How can these be addressed?
  • Does your current stack make it easy to manage the influx of online requests?
  • Can employees easily move to remote work and manage all online issues?

Keep in mind, these shifts may be difficult to address now but can positively impact your customer care initiatives in the future.

How To Be Helpful

Finally, now is the time to be as helpful as possible. Think about the ways in which you can help your current clients or customers.

For example, we are giving every customer — no matter their level of service with us — a social media listening report on COVID-19. We are also planning a special FAQ page where clients can go to see frequently asked questions and answers around the pandemic.

At the end of the day, the brands who go above and beyond to put their customers at the forefront of everything they do will likely come out of this mess okay.

What are you doing to ensure that’s you?


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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
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