How do we “do” customer service in this ‘new normal’ and virtually?

It’s the same, but a bit more of it.

Customers expect great service 24/7/365. Always have. On the phone or in person. Let’s not let COVID be that excuse.

Yes, many companies are understaffed; however, that’s happened before. Many companies are struggling. And that’s happened before. Many companies have had to hire new folks to replace the ones that left. And that too has happened before.

It’s not fun, it’s not fair and it’s not right.

However, if you’re going to stay in this fight, and most of us will and want to, we need to UP the service angle. We cannot let this virus cripple us. It’s done enough damage. If you’re lucky enough to be declared ‘essential’ and if you’re lucky enough to be open and still serving customers, do more than you did before! Have your staff do more than they used to.

These 5 steps to post COVID-19 customer service will help. Sit with your staff and ‘talk’ with them. Have them understand customer service is not a choice; never has been. And it’s more important during these times than ever before. How can they help? Get some of their thoughts.

Here are ours:

  1. Start some sort of training NOW. Next week could be too late. If you have some customer service training in place, step it up. If you don’t, start something to help your staff go above and beyond. It’s too easy in today’s marketplace to go somewhere else than stick around with surly, uneven help. Even the old, “Thank you for shopping with us,” “We appreciate your business,” and “Have a wonderful holiday” go a long way and costs nothing.
  2. Meet with your staff at the end of the day. What went wrong? What went right? Capture the ‘right.’
  3. Have your staff put on a mental suit of armor. Let the verbal projectiles bounce off them. Most of the customers are not upset with ‘them.’ They usually are the target, sadly. Talk about that. Let the staff know you are aware there are some ‘not so fun customers’ out there. The bulk of them are simply trying to buy something or have a nice dinner out.
  4. Your employees need to have the CARE GENE. That’s critical. “Customers don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Sitting and reading a book, doing your nails, or talking with a coworker when a customer walks into the store is not good news. Jump up, walk over, SMILE and say hello. Introduce yourself. Names matter. We need to be different and special during this unusual time.
  5. The most important of all: SMILE. Have smile lessons if you must. Don’t let your staff enter the floor without a smile. “A phony smile is better than a real frown.” It’s not about you – it’s about the ‘customer.’ And no matter what time of year, a smile will win folks over.

BONUS TIP – Please consider a Nancy ZOOM customer service program – it’s fun, affordable and customized perfectly for your team!

Call or email me directly: 314-276-1012 or nancyf@telephonedoctor.com

Any one of these ANTI COVID tips will be of value and help. All 5 can make a huge difference. You CAN make it happen.

Don’t ignore the training aspect during this time. Bad enough it’s neglected during good, healthy times.

Now is not the time to be cheap with kindness, politeness, happiness, good manners and that all important smile.

Give generously. And watch the rewards.

Nancy Friedman

Nancy Friedman

While temporarily halting her ‘travel’ onsite programs, Nancy has been thriving and having fun with her popular ZOOM programs at meetings and conferences through the past year. Like they say, “Ya can’t hold a good gal down.” Nancy’s ZOOM programs are interactive, fun and downright laugh out loud. If you need a COVID RX shot and want your folks to laugh and learn, book a 30 minute or 1 hour session with Nancy. Audiences have applauded her GOLDEN NUGGETS program on Zoom with high accolades. Sure, she hopes to be back on the road with her clients soon. But until then, these sessions haven’t let anyone down. Corporate or franchise, large or small groups, let Nancy know if you’re interested. CALL 314-291-1012 (she’s central time, St Louis, MO) or email her directly nancyf@telephonedoctor.com.