Customer Service in Today's Environment

Customer Service in Today's Environment

Throughout our 50 years in business, NuCompass has learned that communication with transferring employees is the most crucial aspect of our customer service process. This begins in the first conversations with transferees by outlining all policy components, setting expectations, providing realistic timeframes. Invariably, challenges occur during the course of a move, and the high-touch customer service provided by our Consultants can improve the transferee’s overall satisfaction.

Increase in Customer Complaints
Recently, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of complaints received by companies across all industries. When this issue first began, most companies assumed there was a customer service problem due to the pandemic: service times were slower; shifts were short-staffed; and products were out of stock.

A survey conducted by NBC found that 75% of consumers reported worsening customer service during the pandemic. On face value, it would appear that customer service has reached an all-time low. However, new research suggests a few other reasons for the increase in complaints:

1.  Increase in Survey Responses

One of the suspected reasons for an increase in complaints is that consumers are more likely to complete customer service surveys. The general consumer is more “tech savvy,” which allows them to access and respond to surveys more efficiently. In addition, the majority of people only respond to surveys when they have an issue with the product or service. Based on survey response numbers, there appears to be a significant decrease in customer service, however, it may actually be simply a greater increase in the reporting of customer service interactions.

2. Decrease in Tolerance Levels

As normalcy returns post-pandemic, consumers are left wondering why product shortages, shortened business hours, and understaffing have not been resolved. Due to this frustration, consumers are less tolerant of these types of issues, resulting in more complaints – despite the actual improvement in customer service over the past year. The importance of a customer service channel has raised in ranking from #5 to #2 in consumer needs according to Forrester.

3. Increase in Consumer Stress

As tolerance levels decrease, there is a direct correlation to increases in consumer stress due to the pandemic and mounting restrictions. When stress rises, the ability for individuals to cope significantly declines. This rise in customer complaints may be due to the lack of tolerance for irritations due to customer stress levels. In other words, it's not that there the customer service is worse, but the sensitivity to the level of customer service has increased since the pandemic.

4. Decrease in Social Interactions

In an Acumen survey from last year, it was reported that there was a 45% increase in the preferred usage of self-service technology since 2020. In other words, consumers are seeking avenues to purchase their products or services in a way that is less customer service-focused than prior years. This focus will give way to the production of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as consumers continue to demand instant access without the human element. However, technology in the relocation industry has not fully caught up to the consumer preference in all areas.

Due to increase stress levels, decreased tolerance, and improved tech savviness, expect to see a continued increase in customer service complaints over the next year as concerns for the economy lead to greater anxiety for consumers.

Customer Service and Relocation
Relocating is easily one of the most stressful times for transferees, and it is a priority to reduce this stress whenever possible. With ongoing check-ins with transferees, detailed recaps of interactions with suppliers, and satisfaction surveys, the Consultant can ensure that everyone remains focused and engaged.

At the 2022 Worldwide ERC® Global Workforce Symposium, there were several sessions that discussed the importance of AI in the future of relocation. The main takeaway was that the industry will need to continue to create automated processes to keep up with the transferees’ needs and provide the best relocation experience. We can expect to see more focus on customer service and automation over the next few years due to this growing demand.

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