The world, as we know it, is undergoing a rapid and unexpected change – all due to a pandemic. Uncertain times demand organizational leaders to move quickly and make decisions. This is the case during the on-going novel coronavirus (COVID-19) global health crisis. With so many moving parts in motion, managers have the difficult task of ensuring their employees’ safety as well as the business’s sustainability. This may include implementing telework for team members, catering lunches to eliminate crowded cafeterias, or pausing services that involve close contact with other individuals. These changes can negatively impact the bottom line, especially when customers may not be aware of the developments.
Here are a few cogent steps organizations can take to ensure customer satisfaction during these challenging times:
PRIORITIZE EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
Organizations can bolster a sense of community through regular communication with their customers. An example of this can be by providing online customers on their website or app with key information ranging from updated office hours to modified services during the coronavirus crisis. This can be done through a round-the-clock, proactive live chat service tool. Those leading the communications effort should strive for simple and easy-to-follow messages. If any advice is being shared, it is best to also mention the sources of information. Beyond up-to-date information on the website, companies should also utilize social media channels to remain connected with their customers.
Social distancing is usually prescribed by public health officials to limit or shut down the impact of a highly contagious virus or disease. Depending on which part of the globe your business is situated, your organization may be expected to pause operations or request the more vulnerable team members to work from home. Team leads must reconsider how to keep the business operational during these unprecedented times. It may fall to your organization, in one capacity or another, to support social distancing by reducing public gatherings in restaurants, stores, or offices. One way to do so is by redefining what is meant by ‘business-as-usual’. This involves going back to the organization’s mission & vision, values and then looking at key business operations with radical compassion. Keep the focus on what would make things easier for the customer.
TAKE THOUGHTFUL ACTION
Now, more than ever, it is vital that organizations reinforce their link with their immediate community. This can look like:
- Reaching out to local senior care centers in case they need care packages consisting of masks, sanitizers, and gloves, etc.
- Partnering up with a restaurant or supermarket to purchase and deliver meals or groceries to community members who are unable to do so on their own.
- Providing digital literacy sessions over the phone or video chat to those left ‘out of the loop’.
The ongoing pandemic is already affecting the daily lives of individuals, be they your employees or your customers. People are battling crippling anxiety about their friends and family members’ well-being, job security, and generally feeling lost about the immediate future. By banding together, top management can demonstrate their business’s readiness in continuing to provide their community members with actionable information, reliable products & services, and hopefully, some peace of mind.