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Customer Service in Crisis: Maintaining Excellence During Challenging Times

Presented By: Amanda Winstead


Cust service in crisis


Customer service plays a key role in your business’s success. Without effective communication and complaint resolution, your consumers will quickly turn to competitors who are better equipped to handle their questions, queries, and concerns.     

Effective customer service can help you maintain high standards during rocky periods. This can be revolutionary if you’re used to being overrun by customer feedback when times are tough. By proactively improving your customer service, you can get ahead of threats to your brand and improve relations with your clients and consumers.     

Customer service can also give you invaluable feedback. For example, if you haven’t updated your wares in some time, consumers who use your products may be the ones who make suggestions to improve your goods. This enhances customer loyalty, too, as it shows you’re listening to consumers and care about their opinions.

Gathering Feedback

Collecting customer feedback probably isn’t at the top of your to-do list during a crisis. However, if you want to maintain excellence during a challenging time, you need to gather all the insights and feedback possible. This can help you brainstorm ways to resolve the current issues you face and will give you a better understanding of consumer needs.     

Conducting proactive outreach can give your brand a much-needed human touch, too. If you’ve recently shipped a series of faulty products or have learned that your supply chain is facing delays, calling folks who the crisis will impact is a great way to alleviate frustration and improve relationships. This can turn a potential disaster into a positive thing for your brand, as using your CRM to find and contact existing customers will show that you’re already working on solutions.     

Remember to reach out to employees for feedback, too. Worker feedback can be transformative during a crisis, as your best employees understand the issues you face better than anyone else. Folks who have their feedback taken seriously will feel rewarded and respected by your leadership team, too. Just be sure to maintain a two-way street, as you’ll need to be clear about how you’d like employees to improve if you want to spark a period of long-term growth after a crisis.

Communication in a Crisis

You need to communicate clearly with key stakeholders when things have gone awry for your business. Clear, regular communication can help folks understand the struggles you face and should be central to your broader crisis management plan. You can improve communication and bolster your crisis management plan by:        

  • Determining key roles and responsibilities when a challenge arises.
  • Delegating crisis communications to a trusted leader within the firm.
  • Developing an in-depth crisis management communication plan that foregrounds transparency and proactive outreach.
  • Practicing potential scenarios to spot issues and identify shortcomings.

Taking these steps will improve your communication and help you respond quickly during a crisis. This will help you build a more resilient company and is certain to enhance efforts to track, manage, and resolve complaints.

Tracking Complaints

Complaints are a part of any successful business. No matter how well you take care of your business, things are sure to go wrong and customers will let you know when they do. Rather than dismissing or overlooking complaints during a crisis, embrace the digital revolution to better track and manage the feedback you receive from customers. The benefits of digitally enhanced customer service include          

  • Personalization: Tracking customers on a CRM helps you better understand their specific needs. This is crucial if you’re experiencing growing pains, as folks want to see that you’re still able to take care of them even when your operations are expanding.
  • Marketing: Keeping a record of your customers on a digital CRM improves your marketing efforts and makes omnichannel marketing possible. This means you can spread the word quickly if you’re experiencing a shipping delay or a parts shortage.
  • Chatbots: Your customers want quick responses when things go wrong. However, your team may be overwhelmed by the volume of complaints during a crisis. A chatbot can help by answering FAQs and referring individual issues to human agents.
  • Elevated CX: Elevating your customer experience during a crisis is a great way to keep folks on board while you overcome an operational challenge. Switching to tools like automated invoicing and shipping will increase your efficiency and help you get back on track quicker, too.

These changes can turn your crisis into a success story. Upgrading for programs like chatbots and personalized CRM databases will innately improve your customer service and help you resolve queries before they turn into legitimate issues. This can make a world of difference if you’re leading a growing business and are struggling to adapt to increased demand. By automating some of your key processes, you give your human agents some much-needed support.


Providing high-quality customer care during a crisis can mitigate your losses and help you navigate a difficult period successfully. Reaching out to consumers who have experienced setbacks or faults can give your brand a human touch and improve customer retention. Just be sure to gather plenty of feedback during a crisis, as this will help you avert problems in the future.