Navigating The COVID-19 Customer Service Crisis

In March, with the coronavirus spreading across the US and Europe, brands suddenly found themselves deluged with e-commerce orders, as millions of people turned to online shopping during lockdowns. It was the sort of rush typically seen during the run-up to the winter holidays. Only this time, companies hadn’t had months to prepare. Creating what we refer to as the COVID-19 customer service crisis.

“All of a sudden, on a random Tuesday in March, the holidays came early,” said Heather Howard, senior vice president of people and operations at footwear startup Rothy’s. “The entire supply chain system in the US was put off guard.”

What happened next can only be described as a total customer service meltdown that overwhelmed big brands and small brands alike. E-commerce orders went missing or shipped out weeks after the promised delivery date. Many consumers felt an added frustration when they were confronted with lengthy wait times to speak with representatives by phone or online chat. Tensions boiled over yet again when returns and refunds were left in limbo.

Responding to Crisis

Some customer service issues were inevitable as soon as the lockdowns began. Stores closed with little warning, as did some warehouses and factories. Consumer spending shifted in unpredictable ways; Rothy’s, for example, received a torrent of orders off of a special discount for first responders (according to BOF). Typically-reliable delivery networks became snarled with orders for toilet paper, toys, and other quarantine necessities. FedEx even capped the number of items retailers were allowed to ship in May.

“It was a total shock to the system,” said Donny Salazar of MasonHub, an LA-based logistics company. “No one is prepared to deal with the explosion of volume. It’s creating an erosion of service.”


Responding with Purpose

Responding to customer service issues amid the COVID-19 pandemic is unlike any other time before. Consumers feel overwhelmed on multiple levels and there’s an overwhelming feeling of helplessness when there are so many in need. So, the game has changed. Consumers all across the globe are demanding more of the brands that they support; expecting those brands to provide a meaningful, personal way to add value beyond the purchase. There’s no better solution than a charitable cashback incentive that empowers each customer to donate much-needed support to any COVID-related charity of their choice.

Givz was built as a vehicle for people and brands to do good more frequently. It’s the fastest, easiest, most secure way to donate to any U.S. charity in 15 seconds or less, using any device. We work with brands like H&M USA and DIAGEO  to help them add purpose to every customer interaction. One way that we do that is through Givz-to-Shop campaigns.

Brands are able to offer customers charitable cashback for performing any desired action or as a concession for unpleasant customer experience. For example, we recently powered a second Givz-to-Shop campaign with H&M USA — this time, every loyalty member that spent $60+ received $10 charitable cashback to donate to any Pride-related charity of their choice. The campaign was designed as a value-add incentive for H&M USA’s loyalty members for being such devoted H&M loyalists. As with the initial campaign, this one has been an overwhelming success.

Customer Success at Its Best

People inherently want to give, Givz connects the digital dots to drive immediate philanthropic impact. Founded in 2017 to create a seamless and transparent donation experience, today Givz is the leading purpose-driven marketing technology that enables brands to make positive social impact while driving conversions and meaningful engagement.

The frictionless donor-focused platform facilitates a donation to any U.S. charity in 15 seconds or less. Brands use Givz as a consumer incentivizing tool to drive sales, boost engagement, and build their overall brand image.

Email us today to learn how we can use the money that you would have spent on Facebook ads to sell more while doing good.

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