Use digital care to help customers in a public health crisis

Jackson Kushner

Here at Khoros, we understand that many businesses around the world, like yours, are facing unprecedented difficulties during this public health crisis:

  • Call volumes are spiking
  • Physical business locations are closing
  • Employees are working remotely for the first time
  • Customers are stressed and worried
  • Care agents are under much greater pressure than normal

Managing customer care during viral spikes

Here are some strategies that you can use to navigate these issues.

Helping your people: Add automation during volume spikes

Many businesses are experiencing higher than average volumes in their call and support centers and on social media. Implementing bots and AI can help you manage these volumes:

  • Welcome messages. A simple automated welcome message makes your customers feel welcomed and supported and helps set expectations and categorize customer needs. It is also very fast to roll out (often in less than 48 hours). For example, your welcome message might mention you’re experiencing more volume than usual, so the customer might have to wait a little longer for help. This transparency at the beginning of the process helps ease frustrations.
  • FAQ and chatbot triage. Khoros Bot is designed to help customers self-serve critical information during a part or all of their conversation. Of course, some of your customers will still need a person to help them, so it’s important to make sure the bot doesn’t get in the way when this is the case.

Digital acceleration: Adjust workflows and use digital channels to support your call center

Khoros Care offers digital-first customer service to give fast, efficient, and effective support at scale during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Digital service. Customers need ways to contact you other than calling. Give them — and promote — convenient channels, such as SMS, messaging in your mobile app, Apple Messages for Business, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and more. This Apple Messages for Business video, for example, shows can help you deflect calls and offer interactive customer experiences right now. Khoros Care streamlines communication across digital channels into a single engagement hub, helping agents support more customers in less time. This improvement in efficiency saves valuable time and leads to happier customers.
  • Unified workflow management. Make sure to update your tagging, routing, and prioritizations rules to reflect relevant COVID-19 keywords, new support resources and operations. For example:

  • Crisis-specific resources. Create shared dashboards, set notification alerts, and build COVID-19 response templates so that agents have everything they need in one place.

The work-from-home era: Maximize value when your agents and supervisors are working remotely

Remote work creates a new set of challenges for customer care supervisors and agents. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re working to meet these challenges:

  • Empathy. Remember, personal safety and care should be everyone’s top priority. Customers are probably just as stressed, worried, and potentially scared as you are. Perhaps the most important thing you can do is practice empathy — not just with your customers, but with your agents. (See more about how to make sure agents are cared for here.)
  • Legal and compliance. Coordinate with legal teams to ensure compliance and customer security. Add training sessions for agents when adding steps or safeguards in your processes. Remember, rules and guidelines for compliance are just as important when you’re working from home as they are when you’re at the office. Working from home or not, agents and supervisors should always remember that they are handling sensitive customer information and continue to follow any protocols that are in place for customer protection.
  • IT. Ensure that your VPN and SSO, for example, are in place. Consider upgrading internet services for your agents working from home.
  • Assistance. Finally, remember that customers and co-workers are probably just as stressed, worried, and potentially scared as you are; try to give them the support they need but also don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor(s) for extra help or training. Given the amount of uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, it’s always better to ask when you’re not sure about something.
  • Metrics. Working remotely will likely affect SLAs and performance objectives. Adjusting performance conversations or bonuses to accommodate this time can alleviate added stress on your team. Also, remember to keep regular one-on-one and team meetings to stay aligned on priorities and needs.

Everyone is trying their best to get through this turbulent time together. As a Khoros customer, you have access not just to best-in-class software, but also an industry-leading team of experts. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your Khoros representative if you need support or have questions. We’re here to help you navigate this crisis as smoothly as possible.

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