3 Approaches to Customer Service in a Time of Crisis

May 14, 2020 | 3 minute read
Harriet Franklin
Sr. Principal Product Manager, Oracle
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For organizations inundated by customer service inquiries in response to a situation like the pandemic, it’s critical to understand what’s working and what isn’t in order to quickly pivot their customer service approach.

Such times require a rapid respond to changing information while at the same time trying to shift from a traditional contact center to more remote service. Companies that can support new and unpredictable customer inquiries are those with flexible knowledge management solutions, configurable customer service center infrastructure, and the ability to quickly automate rules and workflows.

Here are three approaches organizations should consider during times of crisis:

1. Provide customer service everywhere.

Get information to your customers quickly. Start by frequently revisiting customer content to provide meaningful responses and interactions. Go beyond traditional service departments to provide knowledge content across the organization, not just from the service center.

Next, enable digital service channels. Include contextual knowledge that’s readily available on corporate sites and e-business processes. Also, leverage analytics to learn what content is effective and what's not working.

2. Enable all employees to serve customers. 

Move to an “all hands on deck” strategy. Enable employees in every department to react quickly to handle any call. It’s imperative to have a technology infrastructure that can easily transfer calls from your organization to anywhere—including employee’s homes.

Remove the stress from your employees by helping them respond to customers with empathy and accuracy. Do this with simple, easy, and effective employee experiences that empower them to answer inquires with little or no training.

3. Automate and create new customer service experiences. 

Automate the right experiences. As more organizations begin their digital transformation, the need for automation has become even more important. Organizations that have already started are ahead of the game and better poised to adapt to this new way of operating. A good approach will determine which requests should be automated while making sure they don’t frustrate customers further.

How Oracle Service can help

At Oracle, we're working with our customers to replicate the success of existing customer experiences and customer service departments and apply those best practices across an entire organization.

For example, Artificial Intelligent (AI) Solutions include conversational service via chatbots to answer questions 24/7 while reducing incoming chats and calls. Oracle Digital Assistant can help answer basic questions like “Where is my delivery?”, leaving your employees to concentrate on the more difficult customer inquiries.

For customers seeking more personal advice like “Can I defer my payment this month?”, Oracle Intelligent Advisor can deliver tailored advice and decision automation consistently across channels. For organizations, Intelligent Advisor provides the agility for business users to quickly create rules that deliver personalized service to customers. See Oracle Intelligent Advisor in action with a brief self-guided product tour.


It’s a big role to play. But, customer experience and service professionals can lead the way to ensure empathetic, innovative, and proactive approaches to customer service that help ease the challenges during and after a crisis.

Stay tuned for more posts that will offer strategies, insights, best practices, and tips to help organizations respond to customer questions and reduce frustration. Next up: "Work from Home will Become the New Normal: Are Your Prepared?"

Harriet Franklin

Sr. Principal Product Manager, Oracle

I'm an Outbound Product Manager for Oracle Service Cloud. Please ask me questions about Oracle Policy Automation and Public Sector.

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