COVID-19 has caused widespread disruption to both businesses and the supply chain. Anything to do with physical contact has faced unmitigated difficulty in terms of operation. However, somethings as devastating as the coronavirus cannot stop the unending customer experience from moving forward. As such, CX front-liners need to be careful about what they say.
Customers are also suffering from the effects of the coronavirus. As such, they are feeling overwhelmed, uncertain and frustrated.
In times like these, the wrong words in any customer interaction can turn the customer experience into a bad one, negatively affecting the immediate and long-term reputation of the brand.
Front-line customer experience professionals want to avoid certain phrases and responses when working with customers, whether the situation is coronavirus-related or not.
Here are a few phrases you should absolutely avoid using when dealing with customers, be it via email, social media, or conversations.
We can’t do that – In times of great hardship such as these, businesses need to be flexible. Leaders and frontline professionals need to work on ways to offer flexibility on customer requests. Instead, maybe answer if “let us see what we can do”.
It has to be done now – With the COVID-19 coronavirus causing all sorts of chaos, there is undoubtedly an unprecedented amount of uncertainty in the air. As such, businesses will want to extend deadlines and expectations as much as possible. Instead, try and focus on a time that is reasonable for the organisation to wait it out.
I have no idea – At this moment, a company’s business situation may be just as uncertain as the consumers. However, the brand needs to given them some level of confidence in the company’s capabilities.
It is impossible to get that done now – While yes, it does feel like the world has hit the pause button, or is moving in slow motion; but things will eventually get better. Until then, customers will just be happy if their preferred brand is still working to satisfy their needs.
… – Silence is arguably the worst reply that a business can give customers right now. Especially customers with close ties to a certain business, they will wonder if something has gone wrong, or whether the company has gone out of business. They could even take silence as a lack of care. Whether you don’t have an answer or are struggling yourself, communicate with customers throughout and after a crisis.