Customer service in times of COVID-19

By Isaura Murillo

New Business Manager

“A little consideration, a little thought for

others, makes all the difference”

Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh

Undoubtedly, what the whole world is going through in 2020 could not have been imagined even in a movie directed by Tarantino and based on a work by E. Allan Poe. The world was already experiencing different revolutions in the way we communicate, in the mechanisms and tools for purchasing, as well as in the attitudes and habits of consumers, and on top of that... pandemic, respite for the planet, but economic recession in multiple sectors.

Despite all this, companies and businesses continue to fight against a competition that is not only in our community, we have access to the world. Just as it is possible to keep global counts of infected, deceased and recovered from COVID-19, it is possible for us to purchase any product or service from any corner of the world.

However, times of crisis are always an opportunity to reinvent ourselves, build customer loyalty, be more efficient and, above all, more empathetic. Here are some recommendations to put into practice.

Be flexible: If there is a problem there is a solution (and there will always be a bit of both). Much of what we are going through is completely new, if there is one thing we have in common is that we are all learners, so we must adapt -more than ever- to the circumstances, the tools, the possibilities and the resources. It is especially important to design a communication strategy and stick to it -as far as possible- so as not to lose sight of priorities. Crises happen to both large and small companies and historically they have happened and will happen; this is neither the first nor the last. Let's not be afraid of criticism; if we are willing to innovate and think outside the box, we must also be able to handle criticism.

Review your content: All publications count, social media schedules, blogs, campaigns... It is quite possible that everything you had scheduled should change the tone, the topic or the approach, to be more empathetic. Right now it is more valuable what shows empathy than efforts to sell. We cannot afford to be insensitive or disrespectful to the needs of others. Evaluate whether you can make your social networks available to the authorities; many large brands are doing so as a way to join in, but above all to remain visible.

Communicate with your audiences: If you have at least one social network, a website, then you are a communication channel, communicate your support, your solidarity, replicate an official message. Remember that your public pays special attention to your actions during a crisis. Let's be proactive in preparing ideas for our clients. In addition, it is crucial that you do not neglect the morale and morale of your employees. Take advantage of the opportunity to improve relations with your customers (internal and external), get closer to them, today there are many ways to do it.

Detecte: If you have customers or partners in particularly distressed situations, find out if there is any way you can help them, this builds loyalty both ways. If you are ending a relationship with a customer or partner, consider all options and try to go with the one that will have the least negative impact on the relationship in the long run. Improve time management systems, there may be actions that will help you be much more efficient. Payments are controllable but sales are not, in the same way that it is recommended to review time management, analyze all your fixed expenses, some may no longer be as necessary. It is not enough to be good at something, we have to work at it and practice, that can be the challenge, be curious, learn... this time can bring out the best and the worst in everyone, but if you have free time use it to learn something new that can benefit your business and your customers.

Put people first : and then sales: Relationships are built with people, decision makers are people. Companies tend to focus on other competing companies, however; today the recommendation is to focus on the human being that is your customer, not only listening to them, but taking actions to implement their ideas and go beyond, we must be able to take the ideas of customers and take them to the next level and make decisions thinking in the long term. It's not just about satisfying the customer, it's about making them fall in love, because in the long run any one or many will satisfy. Our job is to listen to them in order to create something better or offer them something else. Customers have to know that they are very important to us and this is a construction, which is tested in moments like these, so it is important to always work for this relationship building. Today more than ever we must create and develop trust in our people and our customers. Service depends on happy people; we must promote harmony, even more than balance. per se.

As communication specialists, we can analyze your competitive position and show you how to improve brand positioning to market more effectively across all channels. In addition, we can help your company generate more leads and close more sales, once the leads are in your hands. As well as helping customers find strategies that don't involve cutting prices, but focus on adding value to the customer, retaining and increasing customer loyalty, but remember not to lose sight of the person behind every purchase.