COVID-19 Customer contact tools

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating significant disruption in all areas of business and life. To help you to find some order in the chaos and adjust to new ways of doing and being, Doctor Digital has put together a series of COVID-19 factsheets and blogs with tips, tricks, hacks and suggestions for how digital and e-commerce tools can support you and your business.

Doctor Digital Says

During COVID-19 where we are mandated for non-essential businesses to be contact free, you need to be able to communicate with your customers simply and quickly. This blog covers channels to help your business stay in touch without any actual touch.

  1. Messenger customer service tools are messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and LinkedIn Messages that customers can contact you through to get information and customer service. These services are free to set up with your business accounts, but it is important to make sure you are attentive to the flow of requests as people often expect instant connection and response when they use these tools.
  2. Live chat customer service tools are real-time messengers that you can install on your website or app. Live chat will appear in the form of a small button so that customers can click it to open a live chat window and connect with a support agent right away to help resolve any issues. The whole experience is much like using WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. These are subscription based with a monthly or annual fee.
  3. Help desk customer service tools are mainly associated with emails (though not exclusively so). Customers can contact a business via email, but instead of answering them from Gmail, businesses can use help desk software like Zendesk or Zoho. This way, all emails land into this specialised dashboard where it’s way more convenient to track, tag and manage email queries. There is usually a monthly or annual cost involved.
  4. Social media customer service tools help businesses track all their mentions across all social media and respond to them as fast as possible. Strictly speaking, these tools fall into the marketing category rather than customer service. But in a broader sense, customer service, marketing and sales are all parts of customer communication, that is why it can be difficult sometimes to distinguish between them. These are often subscription services and have a cost associated with them.

All of these services are easy to set up, with varying costs. Which one you choose will largely depend on where your customers go to find you. Do they make contact via social media, in which case numbers 1 and 4 could be good avenues to explore. If they come to you through your website, perhaps a chatbot or email service would be more direct – but keeping customers happy means making sure that you can respond in a timely way and that you also deliberately manage their expectations on when they can expect a response. COVID-19 may be the impetus to set up customer contact tools, but they are a great addition to any business and the business of customer communication, and will likely be maintained well beyond the cycle of the pandemic.

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