You may have noticed that everyone’s attention is distracted away from work right now. Yes, everyone is focused on the COVID-19 pandemic – a natural response to something that has led nearly four billion people worldwide to live in lockdown. Businesses are facing huge decisions right now, especially smaller or local businesses. Many are temporarily closed or might have to permanently alter how they operate.
You might be facing your own questions as to how best to support your customers. Websites and technology are essential services for so many right now, and web designers, developers, and IT experts are in high demand. How should you change your support for key customers at this pressing time?
Your customers are going to be worried about how to support their own employees and customers right now. Take the time to reach out and reassure your customer base about the pressures they’re facing. While you can’t have a face-to-face meeting, take the time to proactively reach out to customers through email and see how they’re doing.
Better yet – video call them and check on their well-being and the current state of play with their business. They’ll appreciate you taking the time to reach out and they’ll be able to inform you of any concerns or changes they need to make to their services at this current time. What you’re providing might not be what they need right now, and you won’t be able to make adjustments until you reach out and talk.
Some need more, some need less
Your customers’ needs are going to vary wildly right now, far more than they might usually. Local restaurants might need to switch their website over to offering home delivery and require an immediate overhaul. A gym might need to advertise that they are currently closed due to lockdown restrictions, but their gym instructors have a brand new class for YouTube with extra content for paying members. Reach out to your customers to ensure that what you’re offering through the COVID-19 crisis will deliver what they need, and help them to adapt what they offer to the currently changing circumstances.
What do you know?
Your customers may have a lot of questions and things they need to know as to how your business is continuing to operate right now. Set up a simple question and answer page on your website with clear details of how you are continuing to support customers and their businesses during the lockdown. Come up with a basic set of answers that customers might need answering. Keep it regularly updated with any more questions that come up as you support clients – either by email or by encouraging customers to keep in contact with a form.
Put projects on hold
Small businesses are suffering under the impact of COVID-19 and it’s unlikely that the situation in the UK is going to change any time soon. For the moment, consider putting a hold on invoices or offering an extended payment period to help them continue to operate during this time. Pause work that is currently being developed right now, as new projects won’t be able to launch for some time. Put a hold on projects for no charge, and customers will come back when they’re ready to try again.
Support your employees
Your staff are going to be facing a lot of anxiety right now. You might have call-centre staff who are facing calls from scared customers, or IT staff working all the hours of the day at home to support workforces to try and get their work done from their home offices. Your staff will be worried about what might happen and how long this situation will be going on. Make sure that you are supporting them right now in all the ways that you can. Check-in with them regularly, and make sure that you are being as flexible as possible with their work right now. Your staff are going to have to cope with so many challenges, so don’t add the further challenge of worrying about their job.
And while you’re supporting everyone else, make sure you make time for yourself. We are living in a situation that is constantly evolving and emotionally exhausting. You can’t be on top of everything and you don’t have to be everything for everyone right now. Take each day as it comes and give yourself plenty of time to care for your own wellbeing.