Ensuring a swift business recovery from COVID-19 is a priority for many right now. Considerations must go far beyond adjustments to marketing. Your recovery plan must extend to your customer service/support offering, your website, social channels, customer-facing staff, and more. The current situation is accelerating adoption of new technology and processes, changes that would usually happen over months or years are being implemented in hours or days.

With various changes occurring weekly shaping our ‘new normal’, ensuring your existing customers receive a consistent and high-quality level of customer support has never been more critical. Many experts predict a pent-up demand driving pressure on customer support – a flexibly resourced customer service operation which uses intelligent automation and digital channels will be critical to managing this new demand, as will the reputation and relationships your company has built thus far.

We believe that the way you support your customers is fundamental to your businesses recovery from COVID-19. Below are our four top tips to ensure your recovery plan is the most customer-centric and focused it can be:

1. Be proactive

There will no doubt be changes in the way you offer your service or an impact on the ways you deliver your product. Don’t wait for customers to ask why they can no longer do something or use something the way they did pre COVID-19, be proactive – share how you’re now operating and be sure to explain why. Customers who can see businesses being open and honest will appreciate your values and transparency.

2. Be authentic

Demonstrate that you understand your customer’s needs and care for them. Many people are still hesitant to visit shops & stores, so if you’ve always charged for delivery but offer a free collection service be sure to show how this works so your customers feel confident when selecting it. Or perhaps you could offer a discount to your customers that may be struggling financially so they can continue using your service at a reduced price while they get back on track.

3. Be inspiring

The effects of COVID-19 are incredibly wide-ranging. Take a look to see if your business could assist with a local relief effort for those affected – communicate how your customer community could also get involved with helping others. How your business acts now will shape how customers see your brand for years to come.

4. Be aware

Ensure you thoroughly review all of your messaging streams, automated or otherwise – including social media, promotional and transactional emails, push notifications, and SMS. Identify all communications that need to be paused or be amended as a result of the situation. If you don’t, there’s a risk of damaging your brand if a message appears insensitive, incorrect or seeking to capitalise on a tragedy.