The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has rapidly escalated around the world, leaving millions of people worried about all aspects of their lives. For small business owners, it is important to be empathetic and be there for customers and employees during this trying time.
Here are 5 business management tips to provide customer service in times of crisis:
1. Reach out to your clients and simply let them know you care and are there for them. During this trying time, it is important to let your clients see the human side of you. Hopefully, you have already built strong, trusting relationships and by simply reaching out to them in an honest and heartfelt manner, they will appreciate the sentiment and it can lead to further bonding as people, not just business.
2. Reassure your clients you are following all recommended CDC and local guidelines. Make sure you keep your clients informed about your business and what you are doing to make sure you are following all state and local guidelines. Let them know exactly what you are doing and share with them any important tips and reminders you have for them to stay safe.
3. Be prepared to do business differently and accommodate their needs. Right now, it is simply not business as usual. For those clients who do reach out to you and need your help with products and services, it is important to be prepared to meet their needs even if you have to do things differently. For example, if you own a restaurant that is closed but can still do takeout and delivery, now is the time to let your patrons know that you are still able to serve them even if you need to bring the food to them or offer curb-side pickup.
4. Continue to give back in a way that is safe and follows CDC guidelines. If you are active in your community and would like to continue being involved, think of ways you or your business can help those in your area during this time. It could be something as simple as donating to a reputable local charity to provide meals to those in need or using your professional skills to offer other kinds of assistance. For example, if you are a nutritionist, perhaps you can do live broadcasts of healthy meals prep and cooking from home.
5. Stay in touch and make clients aware of any updates and business changes. As this is a rapidly changing situation, it is important to make sure your clients have the most up to date information. You don’t want to inundate them with items that are not helpful, but whenever things do change you want to make sure they are informed and know how to best contact you and do business with you.
These are just some of the ways small business owners can manage their business and still provide authentic, personalized customer service during this trying time.
For more information on the latest CDC recommendations and guidelines, visit https://www.cdc.gov/