Maintaining Customer Relationships During a Pandemic

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CX (customer experience) has been hot for a few years.  But, IT wizardry and the push to cut costs by un-humanizing the service experience has too often removed the “relationship” from “customer experience”    The by-product was aptly characterized by a friend of ours describing her bank knowledge of her account status but corresponding lack of desire to know her personally.

Today we face a huge challenge in maintaining and building customer relationships when personal connections are significantly reduced or eliminated due to the COVID-19 virus. We can utilize the phone, chat, text video conference, etc. but it just isn’t the same as the tried and true personal connection. Social distancing and the need to wear a mask are likely to be with us for a long time. We all need our customers to remain our customers and refer others to us more than ever before. How can we achieve a strong relationship during the current pandemic?

Attitude is the fuel of innovative service and an attitude that clearly shows the spirit of greatness can provide the energy as well as the magnetism needed to deliver an innovative service experience. It is a contagious attitude!  Customers love to be served by people whose spirit to serve is unmistakable in its strength and commitment.  And, it is the consistency and sincerity of attitude that causes customers to tell friends about their innovative service experiences. Our unique challenge today is to find ways to demonstrate that spirit of greatness attitude. I see it in some places I go like Publix or Whole Foods. Their employees are clearly happy to have customers in their store and they do whatever they can, safely, to demonstrate this appreciation.

Their demonstration of appreciation goes a long way since today’s wired and dangerous customers are especially sensitive to “indifferent” or “ungrateful” service. When their highly tuned radar senses either one of these they are very quick to change providers and with their highly tuned social media skills they will let everyone on the internet know exactly how they feel!

Most of us like tailor-made service.  We enjoy a service provider that knows our preferences and caters to our unique needs and expectations.  But, even during these tough times, we still want the service provider to treat us like an important and valued person.  We want to know that inside customer service is a human, not a program. What are you doing to find new ways to improve your customer relationships during these trying times?

Please be sure to check out Chip’s recent post at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/chipbell/2020/04/13/stephen-king-on-innovative-service/#41d70abec937