When the current pandemic began almost ten months ago it caused lots of scrambling and confusion for businesses of all kinds. It erupted suddenly and left little time to make operational adjustments. Employees were sent home and many remain working from home.
When customers phoned customer service the change was immediately obvious. In the background we heard a dog barking and children playing. Home bound reps were using laptops to interface with corporate systems that were not ready to meet that challenge.
Suddenly, chat line use was forced on frustrated customers. Internet chat lines have never been an acceptable replacement for a live conversation with a customer service representative. Customers often find the navigation of a chat line to be tedious. Fragile connections often result in the line dropping before the issue is resolved. With the pandemic the chat lines were also understaffed.
The sudden emergence of the virus saw customers understanding delays and unresolved issues. They were patient and forgiving. That was ten months ago.
Now, ten months later the situation seems to have gotten worse. With every transaction, COVID is introduced as the excuse for poor performance. The COVID pandemic will end one day. However, poor customer service may be a permanent change.