The Vital Role of Exceptional Customer Service in Surviving Pandemics.
A pandemic is an outbreak of an infectious disease covering a large area, such as the whole world, and impacting a very large population. And when they happen, they affect our businesses and take a toll on vital operations such as customer service.

Major examples of pandemics are HIV/AIDS, COVID- 19, the swine flu of 2009, Spanish flu of 1918 pandemics and the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)

The various studies hint an increased rate of epidemics globally, over the past years, as a result of environmental exploitation, increased global tours, urbanization, and changes in the land-use system.

Researchers have made it clear that these pandemics will continue occurring, and therefore special attention must be taken to reduce their chances of happening.

The global effects of these pandemics may include: economic decline, increased rate of mortality, instills fear among people, political tension, stress, insecurity, among others.

The rapid growth of pandemics results in a more devastating economic situation in the world. These have made the various managers come up with strategies to protect their businesses, customers, and employees.

There is a need for both small and large scale businesses to maintain good customer relations, especially during crises.

Therefore, businesses need an insurance plan to help them manage the uncertainties they may encounter, such as fire, theft, and pandemics.

Maintaining Healthy Customer Relationships during a Crisis. 
Below are ways to ensure good customer relationships amid a pandemic.

1. Management team.
Come up with a versatile task force that will work in line with the set rules and regulations— and lead the business's call center during a pandemic.

Your business might have reduced its operation to critical tasks only, but with the help of this selected team, it still stands a better chance of achieving its goals.

These critical operations should prepare your business to survive a crisis. In other words, they ensure you don't shut down completely because of a disaster.

2. Prepare a customer service team.
Your employees in the customer service section should be aware of the possible questions customers are likely to ask and the issues they will tackle during a pandemic.

This will ensure that the company plays a vital role in providing support to all its customers during a crisis.

The response team should be able to answer the customer's questions correctly and in a satisfying way. For example, a customer may ask how the crisis will affect him or her.

If a business wants to earn consistent openness or transparency, the answers a shopper receives from the various response team officials should not contradict

3.Good communication plan.
You need to know all facts about the ongoing pandemic to develop an appropriate response plan—without affecting your business or disappointing your customers.

You also need to understand the measures put in place to manage the pandemic and work within the set rules and regulations.

Keep your customers alert by informing them of how you will offer services during a crisis. For example, you can mention you're new opening and closing hours.

Keeping customers on the loop can help a business grow after a pandemic thanks to the good reputation.  

Ensure that your employees are well trained on the prevention, awareness, and company continuity procedures during a pandemic.

4.Proper management.
During any pandemic, the management team should consist of the key players in business since the success or failure is on its hands.

Remember, the management makes all decisions, develops a response plan to the pandemic, and lays down measures to run a business during a crisis.

In this case, whatever communication they make to employees has an impact on the business at large.

The management should always be present in all communication platforms to update on the status quo, protocols, and policies.

They should also organize meetings with junior staff members to brief them on any emerging issues.

Management should offer relevant technical training to other staff, especially to increase their performance amid a pandemic.

Ensure your remote workers enjoy flexibility, such as changing the schedules when a situation calls or offering sick leaves.

5. Appropriate customer interaction.
Ensure that you involve your customers on how and where they want their services rendered.

Allowing your customers to choose a channel of their choice will boost up the experience at your store during a crisis.

It would be best if you were around to interact with your customers, be it on blogs, social media, or live chat, because immediate response is essential to your brand's reputation.

The omnichannel strategy has aided the urge to be there for your customers during their times of need.

6.Prioritize emotional intelligence.
Be as kind during hard times to have empathy and show customers love to maintain your good business record and customer relationships.

The number one goal for your business during a crisis is to be sensitive enough to identify and regulate your customer's feelings about it.

The following are the guide steps for emotional intelligence:

  • Be honest and deliver explanations using figures and facts about how you are affected.
  • Give your customers the latest update on the crisis
  • Create a good business rapport with your customers
  • Providing customers with emotional support by listening to their opinions and asking them relevant questions.
  • Share with your customer how you are affected by the crisis as an individual to make them more relieved.

Crisis management in business is essential to preparing your business for emergencies—such as COVID-19. It is also critical to the success of a customer service team.

How Optimal Customer Service Can Cement the Processor/Merchant Bond amid a Crisis. 
No matter what industry you're in, customer service matters, both to clients and your business. But you'll need to give it extra attention when it comes to Processing Payments. 

No retailer wants to lose that much traffic and revenue. As a result, most of them seek ways to improve shopper experience and speed up the checkout. 

In essence, they are trying to offer the smoothest shopping experiences to keep their customers happy.

The ability to troubleshoot problems as soon as they arise, or prepare for them before they happen, can make a big difference in ensuring transactions and other aspects of business flow smoothly.

Perhaps that explains why Payment Processors must join forces with customer care units during pandemics to solve these overwhelming transaction problems. 

Due to the ever-changing payments landscape, processors have grown from merely wanting to take credit cards, to the implementation of more robust tools, that will help them monitor and manage their customer (in this case, you business's needs).

These rapid advancements have greatly impacted consumer service, with support teams now looking to use advanced equipment and software applications.

For a merchant, waiting for long periods, and delays in follow-ups are the fastest way to lose clients and prospects. 

With that in mind, the Payment Processors should insist on thorough hands-on training to ensure unswerving support. Your staff cannot be customer-friendly, resourceful, or quick to respond if they are not trained. 

Only a thorough on-the-job training routine can lead to reduced wait times and low customer abandonment rates.

Payment Processors must stay on top of their game despite the challenges that come with processing payments amid a pandemic.  

Accepting credit cards is critical to a business and, at the same time, difficult to understand and navigate. 

The general customer service model focuses on automated support, scripted responses, and over-the-phone assistance. But the payments space requires that you handle every matter with utmost importance.

Again, to provide the best possible customer service in the complicated payments space, you must be accessible. 

Merchants want to be able to reach you at all times and access their account info when they wish to, thanks to tech and self-service mechanisms that simplify and speed up the support experience. You can also offer support by email. 

However, most merchants are contented when they speak to a customer service agent and get to explain their issue verbally. 

Think of a way to meet this requirement without having to keep the client waiting for too long. Try to be there at all times. If possible, offer 24/7 support.

Lastly, and the most excellent way to cement the bond between you and your clients is to act in good faith.

Not all merchants are approachable. Plus, while a customer may understand the possibility of mistakes, they also care about how you resolve the misunderstandings. So when there's a disturbing issue, be sure to think of a resolution that favors both parties. 

Acknowledging your mistakes and taking steps to solve them will strengthen your bond with customers.

Final Words
Maintaining good customer relationships is important in ensuring your client-base remains the same or grows after a pandemic.

It is the ultimate definition of a flexible business that can adapt to its environs and thrive against all the odds.