Companies Fielding More Complicated Customer Service Calls During COVID-19

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, companies across the nation are reporting a surge in more complicated customer service calls. A majority of these calls have to do with customer frustration concerning things like increased shipping times and production delays. These calls are further complicated by the fact that reps are often fielding these calls from their own homes.

While there are many reasons for their frustration, one thing is clear – the reps who deal with these customers need a high degree of empathy and the ability to problem solve on the fly. And since reps are in many cases working from home, they often do not have an adequate infrastructure in place for support. For example, putting a caller on hold and flagging down a manager or co-worker is no longer an option. 

So, what strategies can managers provide reps to help them handle these types of calls? Here are four of the best:

  1. Make sure reps know it isn’t business as usual. Offering a customer free shipping on their next order is going to mean little to a customer who is waiting for an order already. It also is a fairly predictable response. Instead, allow reps some leeway in how they handle issues so customers will feel like a good faith effort is being made to make them happy.
  2. Discourage reps from passing the buck. Directing an already angry caller to another representative is annoying in the best of times. No customer wants to be put on hold and transferred multiple times. Coach reps to do all they can to solve a problem before passing them off to someone else.
  3. Ease talk time limits. While it is true that time is money, the focus in these unusual times should always be on customer satisfaction not on call times. If call volume is in issue, consider outsourcing some of your customer service calls so each customer gets the attention they want and deserve. 
  4. Continue virtually coaching. Managers should be available via voice or video chat so that reps can reach out during or after a tough call. Peer-to-peer support also is important. Make sure your reps can connect with their manager and co-workers on a regular basis. A frustrating call is easier to recover from when you can discuss it with someone who has been in the same situation.


These are unusual times and customer service matters more than ever. For companies to weather this storm and maintain customer loyalty, they need to provide extra support for their customer service reps.  If you need additional support, contact Tactical Telesolutions at (800) 700-7422 or
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