Every business is navigating through new and uncharted waters right now. As we all face the everyday challenges of continuing business among a pandemic, let’s all keep in mind that we are all human and our goal is to treat our customers well. Exceptional customer service is always a big deal, but now more than ever it seems that customers are hyper-focused on service and how businesses are adapting and finding new ways to treat and serve them during this time. Here are five ways you can continue to serve your customers – and serve them well – during uncertain times.
Be transparent with your customers. Communicate well and often by making sure your customers are informed of any changes or updates to your business’s hours, availability, products or services, or anything else that could affect your customers’ experience with your business.
When you send out or post any important communications or updates, be sure that you distribute them where your customers are active and in multiple places to ensure all customers will be informed. This often involves sending out an email to all of your clients or subscribers, posting a notice on your website, or posting to social media.
Treat People Like People
As we all navigate through unprecedented times, it is important to remember we are all people and all dealing with new situations, stress, and uncertainty. As your business deals with customers’ requests, orders, calls, and more, keep in mind the power of exceptional customer service. Treat every customer with respect and kindness regardless of what stresses your own business may be facing. After it’s all said and done, those businesses that continued to make their customers feel heard and valued will grow and rise to the top. People pay attention to how they are treated through the most challenging of times.
Be Flexible and Creative
Uncertain times call for creativity and ingenuity! It is time to put on your thinking cap and brainstorm ways to continue to serve your clients despite what is going on. It has been incredible to see the way that businesses have adapted and adjusted to the regulations in place during this COVID-19 pandemic. Stores are moving to all online, restaurants are offering curbside pick-up, grocery stores have implemented “one-way isles” and other businesses are getting creative with virtual meetings, webinars, and events. A local coffee shop near me even started allowing customers to place orders Monday through Friday and had designated pick up times on Saturdays for you to pick up your coffee and pastries. The businesses that can be most flexible and adapt to the current situation, regardless of how uncertain it may be, will be the ones to make it through stronger than before.
Be a Resource and Engaging
People are consuming content and information more than ever before. Be a resource for your customers. Keep your customers well informed of any changes made to your business’s operations and how your business is responding to the current situation.
While it is important to keep them informed of any changes that may affect them, it is also important that you create some content that is helpful, uplifting, and not associated with the current situation. We all get tired of reading about and seeing information about the same topics each day. Continue to create content that reflects your brand’s personality well and also get creative about what content your target audience might be really looking for. Create engaging social media posts that ask your followers for their input – be it on a product you offer or simply asking what type of content they really want to see over the next few days. As we all try to stay connected from the confines of our homes, now it is more important than ever to be active and available to connect with your customers.
Check-in and Delight Your Customers
Checking in with your customers or clients during this time can seem like a tricky task. Every business under the sun has sent out an email with their response to the coronavirus. While this information is helpful, it has led to many inboxes being overwhelmed with emails that all look about the same. Try to stand out by making the content of those check-ins focus on the customer and not you. When you are constructing your email or preparing for your phone calls to check in with your customers, have the content ask how they are doing, mention any pertinent news related to your business, and delight them with some fun content, a freebie, or whatever would be best coming from your business. Show your customers you’re still here and you care.