Mastering customer service moments during the coronavirus

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So here we are. A month into our new lives with the coronavirus or thereabouts. No doubt we’re all facing new norms. For some, our work and family lives are now integrated together. And in some cases, you’re actually physically isolated from your work and family. During these uncertain times, it’s imperative we look for hope to uncover silver linings. With this in mind, I want to highlight three companies mastering customer service and delivering silver lining brand experiences during COVID-19.

‘We know what it means to serve’

to show unity during the coronavirus, the american flag blows from a silver flagpole in the wind across a blue sky with a few white clouds

Jonathan Simcoe on Unsplash

My home move was scheduled for early April, which evolved into late March for a whole host of reasons. Because of the move, I wanted to see if I could lower my rental and car insurance and register a change of address. Normally, I’d do this online. However, USAA has scaled back on their online customer service so I had to actually call. (If you know me, I loathe the phone).

We talked for an hour. Yes, 60 minutes on the phone with Maggie from Colorado. Not only did she help me explore options across both policies, she took time to explain terms and conditions and completely understood my end goal. More importantly, we dished.

We talked about how the coronavirus had personally affected us. We shared details about our families. Her dogs barked, she apologized, I said no need. As a dog Mum, I asked her to tell me more about them. In return, I told her about Bo and his ‘winning over cancer’ for 17 months. At the end of the call, we were astonished an hour had passed. #wereallinthistogether

Scoring a 10 in less than 10

to demonstrate a great company experience during the coronavirus, a green hand made sign with the red numbering of 10 hangs form a black picket fence

Markus Spiske on Unsplash

My move prompted another household-related call. This one to start new electric and water services with JEA. And once again, a conversation with a live person rendered a positive and authentic experience.

Because it was so quiet in the background, I asked Monica if she was working from home due to the coronavirus. She was and I explained my online options had failed. She apologized and promised to take care of me. And that she did. My electric and water were set up and scheduled to be turned on over the weekend. The policy had stated a 72 hour notice was required. However, Monica made it happen within 48 hours. She did this in less than 10 minutes and actually said at the end of the call – see how easy this was? Smile. #wereallinthistogether.

Is that a smile I see behind your face mask?

Jakub Kapusnak on Unsplash

Finally, I want to give props to Trader’s Joe’s. I realize not everyone has this grocery chain in their region. This place is awesome for those who ‘love less’ because they have a total of six aisles. Product choices are a handful versus hundreds. They pump awesome music from the speakers. The workers are ALWAYS in a good mood and beyond helpful. I shopped this store at the beaches and I’m doing the same in my new neighborhood.

If a store could make you smile while shopping during the coronavirus, it’s Trader Joe’s. You wait in a cue outside six feet apart, as they only allow 20 people at a time to shop. They offer water bottles while you wait and the manager provides store policy updates. The fab music is playing and the team members outside are attentive and engaged – consistently and across regional locations on any given day. I even received a compliment on my fleur-de-lis face mask made by my awesome Mum! #wereallinthistogether

Celebrating silver linings

Photo by Simone Viani on Unsplash

As we all figure out how to live in the confines of our homes, we must seek, source, find, read and share stories of positivity and hope. Companies need to know we appreciate CSRs working from home providing real and honest interactions. This applies to our in-person experiences as well, even if they’re limited. These service industry crews are in the trenches, along with our superhuman healthcare workers, truckers, grocery and pharmacy staff, delivery people and the media production crews keeping our news and entertainment coming to us through our tvs, radio and podcasts. I find it comforting because of the personal touch. And let’s face it – we need a little personal in this new social distancing world.

Now that I’ve shared my examples of customer service masters, it’s your turn. What companies have you engaged with who deliver silver lining experiences? Local? Large? Your own? Share your positive interaction(s) via the comments section.

Be safe, well and blessed.


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Kathleen · at

Timely. Thoughtful. Debbie, I think this is your best yet. My shout out goes to Deep Roots Market , our local co-op. We have over 25 volunteers shopping and added a free delivery service via an electronic bike. These grocery workers are front line workers while continuing to stay in their positions.

Lynn · at

Great read! I’ve experienced the same thing as my daughter is moving to a new place. Lot’s of helpful people. I hope this changes us all for the better! It’s certainly made me appreciate the beauty of every day living – which I’m hoping will soon return.

cooldeb · at

Perfect example Kathleen of companies doing right by their customers. Small biz, grassroots, community-based and startups are all finding new ways to be relevant. LOVE the motorized bike delivery! Thanks for sharing…

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