Service Centers in crises and emergencies
1 November 2015
Dana Neuman- Rotem
I have recently found myself stuck without water and electricity for 36 hours. I became even more frustrated when I realized no one knew when this nightmare was going to end.
As customers we expect our service provider to provide us with precise and reliable answers. This expectation is vital when in an emergency.
How do we get these service centers to provide us with precise and reliable information even when the company is experiencing a crisis or struggling with an emergency?
Send call data:
Send data and a response to call representatives as quickly as possible even when the data is partial or might change.
Answering a customer incorrectly or with no real response to the actual situation can only make things worse. It is therefore better to supply representatives with data (even if partial) to provide the client with an answer.
In times of crisis or emergency, power is diverted towards answering clients. There is therefore hardly any time for long updates. Send short and updated data via pop-up messages, creating a designated space for ongoing updates and writing designated emails.
Make sure these information items share a uniform pattern and are sent by one party to avoid an overload of data from multiple parties, which can in turn lead to confusion and disorder. Data overload can also make matters difficult for the call representative.
open a hotline for questions from the field in order to learn of new situations and the difficulties they pose. Respond to these situations and send updated information to call representatives.
Connect to the field:
In order to ensure that the data is implemented it is vital to sense the practical reality of the call center; be present at a call center or at least in direct communication with those present to learn of knowledge needs and other needs that are brought up during the shift.
Feel the customer:
Listen to conversations to understand the customers' needs and how representatives sound during a conversation. Review whether the knowledge the representative is providing matches the organizational messages. Correct any false information and distribute it quickly.
In some cases, the crisis takes a while and it is therefore important to maintain the data. If there is no new data, correct mistakes made due to partial messages or gaps between the organizational message and the message customers actually received from the representative. Use various tools such as short frontal tutorials supported by presentations or videos, self-learning from tutorials or short knowledge quizzes as well as gamifying content can help our cause.
Learning after the situation was handled:
After the crisis is long gone, it is still important to encourage a learning and data-transferring process. IT has been shown that an organization can learn from this situation, utilize the crisis to leverage future opportunities by learning lessons from the event.
This process includes summarizing the central events, review the organization's conduct and present conclusions. This is an excellent opportunity to review the knowledge gaps that appeared during the crisis and consider how they can be addressed in order to enhance the call center for future crises.
In conclusion, let us hope we don't encounter any more crises or emergencies, yet we can't ignore the fact that they too await around some corner. It is therefore vital to acknowledge them and be as prepared as possible.
The crises may catch us unprepared, but we can still manage our data correctly!