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Supply chain issues affecting front line customer service

 

supply chain issues affect customer serviceIt’s a perfect storm – a pandemic, post Brexit paperwork, a container ship stuck in the Panama Canal, a global shortage of shipping containers and front line service teams still working from home.  The consequences of what we’ve been facing is still impacting our personal and our work lives and these are some of the things we’ve been hearing about and developing training to help with

  • The product and spares shortage is having a real impact on customer service.
  • Customers have shorter fuses and they are getting angrier and angrier more quickly. Front line teams need to be equipped to have good conversations with people that don’t trigger an angry response, and can handle complaints well when they do arise.  You might be interested in our resource page on Helping Angry Customers.
  • From personal experience, response times to customer complaints are taking longer, and so that is having an impact on perceptions of brands, and the loyalty to that brand.
  • Some customers are really struggling. Covid has hit them and their families hard. There are some heart breaking stories out there, which if your customers are sharing them, can impact your front line teams especially if they are isolated and still working from home.
  • How have your people coped with working from home? Some have really thrived, but for others it has been a real challenge. The last lockdown has highlighted issues for people’s mental health and wellbeing . This survey from the Royal Society for Public Health highlights the mental and physical impacts of home working. RSPH | Survey reveals the mental and physical health impacts of home working during Covid-19 Wellbeing and resilience is a real issue for people and their first in line managers,.
  • While absenteeism may be down, presenteeism could be up. I’ve even seen people posting on Linkedin what they are watching on the TV, while they are meant to be working – the reality is there have been a lot of distractions working from home, and on a bad day even the ironing is appealing! Your First in Line Managers and team leaders have a huge part to play in keeping people connected and focused on the quality of their work.
  • Team leaders are being pulled into more escalations as people working from home are struggling to handle complaints and difficult situations.

So if you are facing some of these, you are not alone.

As we are working out what work will “look and feel like” over the next few months. A complete return to the office, a hybrid of office and home work, or a continuance of home working for the foreseeable future, it is the companies  that help people be more confident and skilled who will succeed.

The clients we have been working with recognise they need to support their people by equipping them with really relevant training.  We’ve worked on a variety of projects to equip people with the skills and confidence to handle difficult calls and callers, help bereaved callers, and engage and motivate a remote workforce.