Top 5 Things Companies Can Do Today To Set Themselves Up For Success in 2021
Customer Service Expert Paul Rutter Shares Insight for Business Owners
By: Whitney McDuff Consulting
Communicate. We all know how important communication can be at the best of times, but now it is more important than ever. Communicate with as many people as possible on as many platforms as possible.
Start with your co-workers and employees. If your business has shut down or limited hours of operation, keep your employees informed on a daily or weekly basis. I have found that people can handle bad news if you are upfront and honest with them. But not staying in touch causes worry, anxiety, and people forming the worst possible scenario in their own minds.
With all the new technology, there are many ways to stay in touch. Email, text, chat, Whatsapp, Facebook pages, Instagram, Zoom, etc.
During 2020, I heard of companies who furloughed hundreds of employees during the height of the pandemic but only communicated with them every 3 or 4 months to tell them basic news they could have found out themselves. Staying in touch with your co-workers and employees every week, or every 2 weeks at the least, should be standard. In addition, a Zoom call once a month just so people can see another human being is recommended. It certainly helps with morale.
Make sure you listen to their concerns and make sure you communicate any goals that are being set for the coming quarter, six months, or year. Information is knowledge.
And of course, communicating with your customers is key. Let them know what is in store for them over the next quarter, six months, or year. Be creative. Use video on a number of different channels. Try and reach your customers on the channels they are more likely to be.
Show Compassion, Kindness, and Empathy. We all have heard about the trying times many people have gone through during the past 10 months. Losing jobs or reduced hours, trying to get unemployment compensation, virtual teaching from home, trying to pay the rent or mortgage, food insecurity, etc. It has been the most difficult time for many, many people. Now is the time to show kindness, compassion, and empathy, especially if you have not been hurt by the pandemic as much as others. You will definitely be remembered for your caring ways long after the pandemic has taken a back seat in our lives.
Be Flexible. Flexibility will be the key in order to survive the next year or two. Will employees still be able to work from home? Will there be some sort of hybrid situation, which will combine work from home with going back to the office. How quickly will you be able to pivot depending on the situation.? Now is NOT the time to be hard-nosed and unforgiving. Will your customers and clients be able to depend on you being flexible with their schedules and demands. Going the extra mile now will pay dividends in the future.
Provide Content or Entertainment. Keep everyone informed about the plans for the future, and try to do it in a fun, entertaining way. Are there any new products on the horizon? Special marketing plans? Keep yourself and your company in the front of everyone's minds by providing relevant content that engages informs and entertains. If you are technically challenged, reach out to some of your younger employees who might have more experience with social media and the various platforms you could use. We all could use an extra smile or laugh right about now, and those who can provide it while still providing content will be golden.
Nurture and Encourage Customer Relationships. Now is not the time to disappear from view. Stay in touch with your customers by reaching out to see what their needs may be at this time. Remember, the business will eventually come back, and you want your existing clients and customers to be your raving brand ambassadors and biggest source of advertising. And if you keep engaging with your employees as well, they will also be your best source of marketing as you try and get back to pre-pandemic results.
We all know 2020 was a year that we will never forget for a variety of reasons. But if you set proper goals, are organized, and pay attention to details, you'll be surprised what a great year 2021 will turn out to be for you, your customers, and your employees.
Paul Rutter is a customer experience expert, speaker, and author of Repeat Business Inc: The Business of Staying in Business. You can connect with Paul at www.PaulRutterSpeaks.com.