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Common Customer Concerns Over COVID-19 and How to Handle Them

Blog Post
As we continue to see a rapid escalation of cases of COVID-19 across the globe, Radial recognizes our society is undergoing unique times and enduring real challenges.
woman in customer service center

As we continue to see a rapid escalation of cases of COVID-19 across the globe, Radial recognizes our society is undergoing unique times and enduring real challenges. Without a doubt, our ordinary lives have been altered. The impact on retailers and consumers alike has inspired an ‘all in this together’ mentality. In the spirit of sharing, Radial has leveraged 100% of its structured and unstructured data through Interaction Analytics to understand and share root causes of our customers’ concerns during this time of need. 

Our Customer Care team has examined voice, text, and sentiment analysis to identify the following three main concerns: 

Change in Shipping Addresses and Receipt of Products

More and more consumers are relocating to work from home causing an increased need to change shipping addresses. While it has been best practice to fulfill orders as quickly as possible, we’re finding customers may need a longer time for order processing. Based on our data, the customers’ expectation is for retailers to help redirect packages to alternate addresses if needed, or allow for order changes for as long as possible prior to shipment. 

Now more than ever, customers are seeking reassurance that their orders will be fulfilled or provided more frequent updates on the status of their orders. With added delays in fulfillment because of volume (based on industry), we recommend increasing communication with your patrons to:

  • reassure that you are here to support, and
  • keep consumers aware of any changes to fulfillment practices or timelines. 

Additionally, allow your buyers to self-serve and track their orders without needing to contact customer care by providing up-to-date tracking links. 

Store vs Online Shopping

Many retail locations are shuttering causing customers to wonder whether they are directly and locally impacted. Shoppers are also inquiring what stores are doing to increase cleaning schedules as the uncertainty of product delivery may force them to venture to stores. 

We recommend expanding any return or exchange policies to include online returns and/or exchanges. Even if only allowed for a limited time, these policies will avoid creating excessive hardship. 

More Meaningful Engagement

Whether communicating to a purchaser or a teammate, COVID-19 is a primary consideration for all. Since social distancing is presently our new norm, we find our customers and teammates to be seeking common ground with each other as a part of their customer care experience. Rapport building across all channels is critical at any time of the year, however in a period of need, it especially contributes to ease of experience (a known Customer Satisfaction driver). In this time of uncertainty, it is critical that teammates are coached to maintain professional conversations and how to tailor the approach to the individual consumer. We recommend taking the time to put talking points together that help relieve your consumers’ minds while resolving their issues. Presenting a “can-do” attitude will go miles.  

As the situation changes daily, retailers will be required to quickly pivot and increase both communication frequency and fulfillment efforts. If you must focus on one thing, focus on the shopper’s concerns. Here are two areas you can put this in practice: the ease in which a customer can obtain a resolution, and what empowerments a retailer can provide to customer care teammates to help provide a resolution. Enable your customer care teammates to advocate for the customer by saying “YES!”and use their empowerment to provide options. 

By creating ease we’re focusing on the humanity of our world events and allowing all to move forward with as much normalcy as possible. It is this humanity that should drive all decisions and will ultimately define a retailer’s success in this time of need. 

Don’t hesitate to reach out to your Radial Care team for more insights and suggestions. We are here for you.