In the days after the Danish government announced the shutdown of Denmark on 11 March 2020, we experienced an increase of over 100% at NordicCalls Klinikservice, primarily in the areas of Dentists, Physiotherapists and other healthcare practitioners.
The moment the phones opened on Thursday morning, patients called in a volume we have never seen before with questions, cancellations and rescheduling of appointments that patients wanted help with. Where also in our other departments at NordicCall, which deals with Customer Service and Telephone Assistance for all other professions, there was a slight increase of around 15-20% in calls compared to normal – which was mostly due to many employees starting to work from home, and many companies just had to get the technical stuff in place.
Therefore, it was also a huge advantage for our customers that when up to 100% of the employees had to go home and work via home workstations, which also just had to be in place, they could use us and thereby their customers noticed no difference or waiting times despite business challenges due to the shutdown.[Table] OF CONTENTS HIDE 
We must say that Denmark closed:
Thursday, Friday and the weekend in week 10 went the same way, it was incredibly busy at our KlinikService, and we have subsequently been able to see that week 10 has been our absolute busiest week this year.
We had expected that week 11 would be somewhat quieter, based on the inquiries we experienced in week 10, but when we opened the phones on Monday 16 March 2020, it was certainly no quieter than the week before, which was completely quiet ! We have subsequently been able to see that the number of calls actually dropped by over 95% from one week to the next.
We are all in the same boat in this crisis, and yet we do not all experience it quite the same. For us it was a completely indescribable experience – to see a horde of secretaries sitting and looking at each other while the phones were completely silent, to a degree that we have never seen before, not even when any of the major phone providers have been down, which we saw it May 2019.
Monday in particular is one of the really busy days at Klinikservice, where it is not unusual to see over 100 patients call in within the first 20 minutes of the day.
Things did not get much better in the department when the Dentists announced on Tuesday 17 March that they would close all Dental Clinics in Denmark for 3 months – 3 whole months.
Will we have to send people home?
Although our customers within Customer Service, Telephone Answering, Live-Chat and Written Support are within over 50 different industries, it was naturally a consideration we were forced to pull out of the toolbox in this unfamiliar situation.
In the coming days, our secretarial teams at Klinikservice were adapted to the reality as it was now, while we worked on the process, then our Customer Service and Telephone Answering department in particular reported back that they were finding it more and more difficult to keep up with the pressure that had come on their department.
Our Customer Service department handles calls for a great many types of companies, but in particular a branch of Webshop and online shopping, really started to boom out of it. It was also a very special sight here, where we saw customers who had many hundreds of percent more calls than they typically have at this time of the year – we are not talking about Easter, Black Friday, Christmas shopping or one of the other big trading days.
Adaptation at record speed
Within Telephone Answering and Customer Service, we need to have free resources, so that even when our customers have incidents that cause their call volume to suddenly increase by hundreds of percent from one day to the next, we can still ensure a quick response time to their customers.
Good customer service is not something that belongs particularly to either our customer service or clinic service department, but a culture that all our employees are characterized by, therefore it was also obvious to move all our overcapacity of employees from clinic service to our customer service department.
Our system of ongoing employee training and our IT system made this transfer quick and easy. Although our Klinikservice employees have enormous know-how within the healthcare field in particular, all of our employees sometimes experience being moved to another department for a shorter period of time each year, precisely to ensure that no matter what happens, we can always quickly find one or more employees who can step in.
Our education and training system means that our employees are constantly kept updated about the other departments. Our IT system coupled with our extensive experience with Telephone Answering and Customer Service means that we have a sharp management of our ongoing training, so that the more complex customers and calls go to the experienced employees, while the employees from other departments are assigned the less complex calls.