For the last 20 years, Britain has looked to transform itself into a country where forward-thinking businesses recognise the value of excellent customer service. Then, along came the Covid pandemic.
“Due to Covid” – The words no customer wants to hear!
This is what those companies who don’t prioritise customer service are using nowadays.
Forget “leaves on the line” and “we’re experiencing higher than normal call volumes”, it’s now – “due to Covid”.
From government departments to the major high street banks and a whole host of other offenders –– “due to Covid” is the first thing you see on their websites, and the first thing you hear on the opening recorded message at their call centres.
They genuinely believe that they can continue to charge you the same as before for their products and services whilst providing a level of support that would have seen them hounded out of business in a pre-Covid world.
Has your business pivoted?
Guys – it’s July 2021! This was forgivable in April and May 2020 whilst you re-organised your people and IT, but you now look like incompetent dinosaurs.
The supermarkets only needed a couple of weeks to find a way to allow us to shop safely. They recruited thousands of delivery drivers between them in a couple of months. The neighbourhood pubs and restaurants that reinvented themselves as takeaways – and who will now maintain that as an extra income stream – didn’t hide from making quick and tough decisions, because they had to.
Although re-opening is now the buzzword of choice, it could well be too late for those that have hidden behind furloughed staff and significantly reduced service levels.
A great quote from David Lewis at Mindlab:
“The complex stresses of Covid have had a huge impact on us. We are suffering from fatigue and frustration; shopping for products and services online is simple and fuss-free. If more traditional businesses want us to come back, they will need to make the experience as effortless and pleasurable as they can. Unless they stop treating customers like aggressors and nuisances, they won’t survive”.
Leaders need to deal with change
If you don’t deal with change, your business will be left behind and customers will go elsewhere. We’ve seen quite a few of the business owners we work with at TAB UK, adapt their businesses and come out stronger than before. You also need empathy and reassurance to foster customer loyalty during uncertainty.
Simon Hudson gives us his thoughts on how leaders can deal with change:
“Have a vision, do it well, look at what’s happening in the marketplace and be willing to move things along…Have the resilience and the agility to ride out the bad times.”
You might find our business guide on how business owners prepare to seize opportunities helpful. When dealing with change and prioritising your customer service as you adapt, you need to:
- Strengthen your connections
- Redefine your workplace
- Improve your digital channels
- Innovate, pivot, and prepare for opportunities
- Plan for long-term resilience
Where does your business sit?
Have you reduced your service levels, maybe not deliberately, but practically?
Are you still hiding behind Zoom and Teams and not planning to sit in front of your customers again for the foreseeable future?
Are you guilty of treating your customers in the same way as those who use the line – “due to Covid”?
Well, get a grip before it’s too late.
The chances are that the enlightened business owners amongst your competitors have already pivoted. They have stolen a march on you and have re-doubled their efforts in Customer Service, because it was truly in their DNA all along.