Customer care for CPG consumables, in general, is fairly predictable. These types of high-volume products tend to be the “Steady Eddies” of the marketing world. Historically growth is calculable, with ROI closely aligned to marketing spend.
When Harte Hanks won the business of a top CPG company, our intense agent training methodologies, low turnover, and comprehensive fulfillment operation were compelling competencies in our client’s decision to move their business. Training commenced in Q4 of 2019, and by the end of January, our customer care team was firing on all cylinders.
And then, with little warning, an unprecedented global pandemic flipped the switch. However, within this mega-brand portfolio of products, there just happened to be some of America’s most popular household cleaners, disinfectants, wipes and laundry detergents.
Covid created the perfect storm. Sales of cleaning products exploded as “panic cleaning” became an ominous activity. As grocery shelves went bare, a tsunami of calls and emails flooded in from customers frantically seeking products.
Customers were frightened and confused. Many thought they could buy products directly from the company, and some even became aggressive when they discovered that was not an option.
It is times like these that push the limits of customer care operations and tests a team’s resilience and competence.
And Harte Hanks was ground zero.