It hasn’t been easy to see how the current crisis has unfolded and how many have already been impacted by COVID-19. However, it was my 9-year-old daughter who reminded me that we’re in this together – and that each one of us can help in different ways and shed some light during this difficult time.
She did this by referencing one of her favorite Harry Potter quotes, at a moment where we as a family needed to hear it the most,
“But you know, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
And as I think of ways I can help and how my current actions and decisions can positively influence our new world, thought I would begin by sharing my perspective on three key things businesses should focus on today, to better navigate this moment and to stay on top of their customer’s needs.
Empower your employees
Take good care of your employees so they can take good care of your customers. Ensure your employees feel safe and supported, understand the resources and information they require to do their jobs, and empower them to feel productive and be successful.
Provide them with different lines of communication, give them access to online training, and ultimately ensure they have the resources and tools needed to do their work as efficiently, effectively, and as motivated as possible.
Connect with customers where they are
Consumer behavior is changing and will change forever after COVID-19. However, one thing will still remain true – businesses need to connect with their customers wherever they are. And with this, digital channels have only become more prevalent – they’re a certain way to connect with customers during social distancing, and because businesses can’t keep up with the volume spike in customer interactions through traditional channels.
For your sales and marketing organization, leverage social media and digital tools for prospecting and nurturing. And with the reminder of the importance of bringing the human aspect on these types of engagements.
For your customer service organization, build and maintain a rich a deep knowledge base where customers can help themselves and find quick answers on their own. And also leverage AI chatbots to provide prompt resolutions to customer queries, while freeing up time for your customer service agents to focus on the most complex scenarios.
Listen to your customers – proactively
Listen to your customers so you can improve the customer experience. Now more than ever, businesses need to make sure they are proactively listening to customers at every touchpoint and surfacing those insights to the right individuals within your organization so they can take action on it.
Retaining customers is only becoming more challenging during this moment, so make sure you understand how your customers feel when they interact with your brand. Or better yet, predict customer behavior and take action before it is too late…are you delivering on your brand promise? What actions do you need to take to ensure you are still exceeding customer expectations?
It’s uncertain how long before the storm passes or how our new world will be after it. However, if you put your internal and external customers at the center of everything you do, you’ll have a greater chance to make it right, even during difficult times.
Empower your employees, connect with your customers where they are, and listen to your customers proactively. And be creative and lean on others while trying to achieve this – I know for some businesses this might be easier said than done.
We are in this together, and we should not forget that at moments when we feel strong, we can be that person that turns on the light for others.