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How to maintain customer service in challenging times

B4B co-hosted an online panel with The Prepaid International Forum on maintaining customer service in challenging times.

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Due to the unprecedented situation of COVID-19, many businesses are struggling to maintain their customer service standards while complying with social distancing rules.

B4B Payments, who offer businesses smart, flexible payment solutions, were one step ahead of the cashless trend and recently shared their insights into maintaining customer service whilst co-hosting an online panel with PIF (Prepaid International Forum.)

During the first few weeks of the UK lockdown, demand for customer service surged as the UK public were unsure how nationwide restrictions would affect their day to day lives. Essential businesses who were still able to open, struggled with the demand for digital payments, as the government advised to limit the exchange of cash where possible. B4B Payments have been providing their services to help businesses with outdated payment systems to be able to offer digitised payment options. CEO of B4B Payments, Paul Swinton said, “We have always digitally engaged with our customers, and now with less time spent on commuting we have more capacity to identify opportunities where we can help customers.”

B4B Payments were able to effortlessly transition to working under the government’s new guidelines as they had created a COVID-19 crisis plan when news of the virus first hit UK headlines. The team were forced to put this plan into effect early when Paul learned one of his team had been exposed to the virus.

Early adaptation for remote working ensured his team were ready and prepared to quickly adapt to working from home. For example, each team member had access to well-configured technology to ensure they could work from home safely and productively. Technology the business is currently using includes Slack, VOIP telephony and signal encrypted chat software.

When the government announced working from home was essential, B4B Payments were able to confidently assure their customers they were offering business as usual. On the priorities of the company Paul said “Most importantly, robust steps had been taken to control the potential spread of the virus and to protect our valued staff members and their families. Our second priority that day was to underpin services offered to clients.”

In fact, the B4B Payments team were so efficient at transitioning to remote working, Paul has raised the question of how easily and willingly workers will transition back to the office environment. He explains, “We were concerned that some people would find it uncomfortable, but we are seeing quite the opposite…We need to be very aware of this because the crisis could trigger a shift towards more home working. Businesses will need to think carefully about this and develop interim plans.” Employees may be reluctant to return to a workplace due to fears of public transport and because they have enjoyed the flexibility that comes with remote working.

As a company who offers financial solutions to businesses, B4B Payments are no strangers to dealing with sensitive information about payouts and anxious clients. During this time, the demand for charities to deliver prepaid card solutions to those in need has skyrocketed and B4B Payments are working tirelessly to ensure these payments can be made. Paul ensured every member of the B4B customer service team had refresher customer service courses to ensure they could help vulnerable, scared customers during this unprecedented time. He explained why these refresh courses were essential to his business as “With these rapid digitisation projects come many thousands of potentially very vulnerable cardholders who may need technical and other help from our customer support team.”

Of course, with COVID-19, businesses who were well prepared for the pandemic are not just scrambling to provide adequate customer service, they are quickly adapting to the new measures to enhance how they operate as a business. B4B payments, for example, are finding faster and efficient ways to adopt a pragmatic response to emerging client queries. As businesses are more readily available to discuss their specific needs during a pandemic, B4B Payments have found they are able to quickly spot ways they may be able to help a business.

So, how have B4B Payments managed to maintain their customer service standards during the pandemic? The answer lies in the early adoption of fintech. Paul explains “We all agree that it hasn’t been a massive change for us, but that’s because we sit in this highly innovative fintech space.” The pandemic may encourage more businesses to adopt cashless solutions in the future so they can stay ahead of the curve, rather than waiting for them to be enforced.



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