As we continue to function whilst observing the social distancing rules, there are no more handshakes, and kitchen-table meetings are now taking place in the virtual world. The current situation demands that we make changes to keep everyone healthy and comfortable with how business is done.
By implementing some simple new processes and rethinking your approach to service, you can make your clients feel more at ease during this uncertain time. To help you get started, consider using these three customer service adjustments, some of which you can implement immediately.
Communicate proactively. Acknowledge the situation head on and show that you’re taking it seriously. Consider outlining on your website or social media the precautionary steps you’re taking to keep your customers, your employees and yourself safe. Be sure to follow through with everything you’ve outlined.
Institute virtual business practices. Technology is your friend during social distancing. Even if you don’t think a process can be done remotely, Google it first and you may be surprised. Here are just a few examples of touchless business practices you can start in short order:
- Use videoconference tools such as Zoom or Google Hangouts to virtually meet with homeowners face to face whenever possible. For more formal customer meetings, try these tips for a professional and successful virtual meeting.
- Reduce or eliminate site visits with online meeting services and image sharing.
- Use e-signatures in all possible cases. If your clients need hardcopies of papers, deliver them yourself (but don’t hand them to the client directly) or drop them in the mail.
- You can also implement low-tech solutions, like calling your customer from your truck instead of instead of knocking on the door.
Ensure your on-site crews are on board. Your crews represent your business and homeowners will be watching. Make sure you align with your crews on the safety precautions that you’ve outlined to your customers and review procedures mandated by the government authorities for jobsite safety. Here are some resources:
- The HIA have a library of resources to help you with these challenges.
- The Master Builders Association have created a hub of information and resources with all that you need to know
- The AWCI has a helpful hub of all that you need should know to protect your business from COVID-19.
When it comes to customer service during the social distancing era, be safe, thoughtful and empathetic. This is a sensitive situation, and people are going through a lot right now, so be sure to keep that in mind. Listen to your customer’s concerns, make them feel heard, and accommodate reasonable requests when possible. A little extra effort can go a long way and customers won’t forget it.