Keeping customers happy has forever baffled business owners.
Customer contentment, an already difficult task, becomes even more problematic in times of a crisis. With lockdowns and social distancing in place due to COVID-19, businesses are finding it difficult to cater to clients’ demands. While the essential goods market has grown exponentially in this crisis, several other companies have shut down or are on the verge of a shutdown. A clear path out of this crisis includes enhanced and personalized customer service that sets you apart.
Crisis forces people to act differently than they would and hence, change how people think. Therefore, there is a need for a varied approach on how to do business and how to get customers’ attention. Acknowledging the crisis and proactively addressing customer needs during a pandemic will ensure your customers stay loyal to you.
This post will assist you to survive this pandemic with your client-base intact.
Here’s how you keep your team’s morale high and push through this crisis.
1. Gather all Important Information
Awareness is an important part of any good solution.
So, your first line of action should be to understand your team’s core issues and gather all necessary information. Collecting important information like critical stakeholders that need to be kept informed, decision-makers responsible for directing the employees, and indispensable customers that require your services as soon as possible is invaluable. If you are an online goods provider, keep clients aware of critical information like key dates, policy changes, and delivery mechanisms in place for the crisis.
Understanding customer behavior during the crisis will also help you cater to them well. Accurate and authentic information in these times will help you formulate good strategies that will drive your team to success.
2. Craft the Perfect Plan
Though a difficult trait to attain, calmness is highly revered and helps you plan well. Here are a few pointers to consider while devising your flawless crisis management plan: –
- Who will create, write, and maintain the plan?
- How would you identify a crisis?
- Steps to achieve success amidst the crisis
- Role delegation specifics: Which specific person will handle which task?
- Staff scheduling details: How to ensure staff capacity during the required time?
- Necessary training: What skills are needed and which team needs it?
- Communication protocol: Type of information, frequency, and choice of social media channel used to disperse information
- Special cases: Dealing with unusual situations
- How will you measure success?
3. Communicate with your Customers
Effective communication, the basis of excellent customer satisfaction, helps set expectations right and make a credible brand image. Its relevance is even pronounced in times of crisis. Being level-headed during such a pandemic offers a huge advantage. This calmness seeps through to your employees and clients to assure them that you have their back.
Some general tips to improve client communication for crisis include: –
- Recognize your client’s pain points
- Use simple language for communication
- Stay in touch regularly
- Keep them engaged constantly
- Make important information accessible to them
- Encourage your customers to give you feedback
- Deliver relevant value at the appropriate time
- Express gratitude towards your customers
Here’s some data that will emphasize the importance of good customer service: –
- Bain & Company states that a client is 4 times more likely to buy from a competitor if they have service-related issues.
- Salesforce states that 72 percent of customers will share a positive experience and promote your brand organically.
- Gartner forecasts that 89 percent of businesses will compete mainly on client experience.
- Microsoft states that 96 percent of global consumers say good customer service is an important factor in ensuring loyalty to brands.
We hope that you consider customer service a top priority in your crisis management.
4. Optimize Procedures as a Preparation for Next Crisis
This crisis has truly tested the crisis-preparedness of businesses. Though risk assessment was always an important part, most businesses aren’t ready to tackle large-scale crises. If you are struggling with keeping your organization alive, it might be because you have inefficient processes that hamper productivity. In such cases, change becomes an indispensable next step. Adapting to new challenges and tweaking inefficient operations gives you a competitive edge and makes you a reliable long-term business.
Here are some guidelines that will aid you to advance your processes: –
- Identify inefficient portions of your operations
- Ask your employees, customers, and stakeholders for honest feedback on processes that are holding them back
- Discuss with your superiors and peers about the different optimization practices that you could use
- Check out the latest technology and automation tools that take the burden off your employees
- Perform a cost v/s benefit analysis before adopting any new technology
Here are some shocking data on the positive effects of process optimization: –
- Microsoft Azure suffered losses due to a downtime of 4.46 billion hours because the proper deployment process was not adhered to.
- In 30 years, Taco Bell became a $1.98 billion business after being in the loss for several years before that by optimizing their core procedures.
- Triaster forecasted that one of their clients can save up to £300,000 by optimizing only one of their processes.
If these factors do not emphasize why process optimization is important, we don’t know what will.
“Change is inevitable; however, growth is optional.” – John Maxwell
This global pandemic has forced people and companies to look within and find better solutions to their problems. The saying, ‘Change is the only constant’ couldn’t have been more relevant in today’s time. Being a leader in these tough times means taking care of your employees and helping them add value to your customers. Maintaining your composure and thinking rationally will prove to be tremendously helpful in dealing with the crisis.