I have been extremely busy lately delivering virtual training workshops and coaching calls with many of my clients, helping them to shift their operations and customer experience to accommodate the unknown in these challenging times.

Businesses across the globe, like yours, are fighting for survival during the current COVID-19 crisis. In virtually every industry, the business that survives will have to change the way that they operate and interact with customers. For many businesses, like my clients, success will require support to learn how to pivot their business models and customer experience to better suit the changing times.

Short-term strategies should address what your customers want and need right now and position your business and train your staff to meet those needs. Although many industries are different, there are still similar trends that appear to be emerging across the board.

For example, every business regardless of the industry, will need to adopt options for a virtual or contactless model, whether it is the use of new payment apps, take out, video or live-streamed exercise workouts or third-party delivery. Rather than trying to improve their normal customer experience used in the past, businesses now have the opportunity to recreate and implement new, more impactful digital customer experience strategies.

The trend toward digital began long before the arrival of COVID-19, and it certainly isn’t going to slow down now. From here on, every business will need to be trained and operate on best practices for utilizing technology to limit non-essential person-to-person interaction.

As businesses start to open, the need to be prepared to follow and implement all CDC guidelines, new safety protocols and procedures to keep their customers and employees safe. Businesses that openly communicate to their customers and staff on how they’re keeping everyone safe are the ones who will most likely win and be remembered after the pandemic winds down.
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No matter if the business operates in a corporate office or retail store, going the extra mile will be expected when it comes to safety. This includes everything from social distancing six feet apart and adding outdoor patio dining, touch free transactions as well as readily available hand sanitizer, face mask regulations and cleanliness procedures.

Now more than ever, businesses need to take the time to focus on the customer experience and invest on training for their staff to implement the right experience in a timely consistent manner.

 

Vendor partnerships are extremely valuable now for adapting to the current state of operations and keeping businesses supplied with product and supplies, including masks, plexi-glass to protect employees, as well as updated signage communicating new guidelines like social-distancing stickers on the floor, and “masks required” displayed at entrances. It certainly can be a burden as small business owners must acquire these tools on their own.

In order for businesses to recover and emerge stronger than they were before COVID-19, it’s critical to think outside of immediate needs and next steps. The long-term strategy will be about being flexible, communicating often, building trust, providing safety and creating a sincere relationship with customers. These actions will create a strong emotional connection and build loyalty moving forward.

While the current state of this pandemic will not last forever, there is no doubt that some changes could be long-term, and the businesses that are most adaptable and streamlined will be at an advantage when the pandemic is over. Is your business and staff ready now and for the future? Need help? Contact me today! info@johnformica.com or (704) 965-4090