I entered the workforce where most teenagers get their start, the food and beverage industry. It helped me develop many skills and it taught me how to stay positive in frustrating situations, but most importantly, the importance of successfully communicating with customers.
Customer satisfaction and making sure they have the best possible experience have always been extremely important to me, and this has not changed during COVID-19. Helping customers during this “new normal” has come with some challenges. The pandemic is affecting different parts of everyday life. Budgets are being reviewed and many are trying their best to support employees and productivity as they work from home, all while keeping sensitive information safe. We must adapt, learn and evolve to help our customers and one another, especially in moments like these.
- The customer buying cycle is changing as well as their demands and needs. Businesses have to be understanding and empathetic to their customers’ new budgets and timelines. Stay relevant, the information you may have provided might be outdated. Make sure you reanalyze your customer’s needs, budget and timeline in this market.
- Invest in the customer experience — happy customers will always be loyal. Your customers will continue to build your equity by referrals and return business. Loyal customers are your best resource for referrals. Chances are they know someone that could utilize your services even if it doesn’t fit their budget at the moment. But — put yourself in the customer’s shoes — would you referrer your colleague, friend or neighbor to someone that has not given you the attention you are looking for and deserve?
- Listen to your customers. Feedback is extremely important, and nurturing will play a huge role in customer retention and referrals. Communicating as quickly and often as needed, while responding to questions and concerns with empathy and patience is key. Right now, the customer’s expectations are much higher than ever. This is your time to shine and remind the customer why they choose you from other options they vetted while assessing their needs.
Just like technology that is always adapting, learning and evolving, we must do the same. Just having a customer interaction is not what is important, what’s more valuable is that it’s a high quality interaction.