Distance has been the name of the game for the past six months but when it comes to customers, we must now be closer than ever. The colossal disruption of the pandemic has made an enduring impression on customers.  Like many, they have been rocked by uncertainty, instability and change.

With video conferencing and telephone calls replacing most face-to-face meetings, the experienced and proven role of the customer service advisor is going to be pivotal in the months ahead.  It is critical that this role is central to progressive plans and developments.  Day-to-day they represent you and your business and they are often the only customer interaction.

Considerate Interactions

A customer interaction with a company can have a lasting effect on his or her sense of trust and loyalty.

At a time when businesses are under considerable pressure, particularly with the current levels of demand, communication is critical; every interaction must be managed and handled to the very best ability.

At Distinction Doors, for example, we assign a customer service representative to every customer, this ensures they have a constant point of contact.  We find this approach is invaluable for both parties – it helps develop a strong bond and a safe space for open and honest dialogue.

Prioritise Employees

The health and wellbeing of your employees has a direct impact on the care and response they show to a customer.  In June, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed a sharp rise in the number of people reporting high levels of anxiety during the pandemic (3rd April – 10th May 2020).  While mental health is now openly discussed, there’s no denying that the coronavirus outbreak has severely tested the nation’s wellbeing.

While home schooling and working from home both contributed to stress and anxiety levels, it’s vital that we stay alert to the mental health of those around us – employees, colleagues and customers, as we return to normal working environments.

Here at Distinction, we have an award-winning team of Health & Wellbeing Champions who are commited to improving the lives of their colleagues.  They provide a supportive outlet at work, for those that need one.  Poor mental and physical health can easily go unnoticed, especially during times such as these, our Champions are there to make a conscious effort to engage with staff to help ensure that this doesn’t happen.

Deliver on your Values

Customers are looking for brands they can trust.  Staying true to your company purpose and values is more important than ever, either through direct or indirect actions.  Many businesses, across all sectors, have contributed to the national effort in helping to control the virus.  In doing so, they have demonstrated genuine care beyond their immediate customer base.  This, we believe will help generate goodwill and build positive customer relationships that will last long after the crisis has ended.

Reach Out

It may seem unlikely but customer support goes hand-in-hand with marketing.  With a displaced customer base its about meeting their needs in a way that works for them.  For now, being digitally present is preferable to physical presence.

Consider how you engage with your customers, digitally.  Do you provide digital brochures and manuals; is your social media monitored for mentions – best practice would be a quick response; is your website up-to-date – if products are out of stock, is this being communicated?  Could you add a call-to-action for an email notification when it returns?

Above all else, maintain that human connection.  We’re all now well accustomed to video conferencing tools so keep using them!

Be Fluid

The business landscape has changed and with it, the customer.  Customer data gathered pre-pandemic will need to be reviewed and as such, is currently unreliable.  Social media provides a good barometer for measuring the state of the nation.  Use it to gain a quick insight and read your customers – LinkedIn is proving particularly powerful as people share business and employment news, product and manufacturing requirements, and comments on the state-of-play.

And so, as we all navigate a way through, be there for your customers.  Give your employees the new tools, training and support they need to enable them to deliver an outstanding customer experience in the new world.

To understand how your business can benefit from partnering with the UK’s leading composite door supplier, get in touch.