Adapting & Ensuring Excellent Customer Service After a Crisis like Coronavirus

In light of the impact COVID-19 has had on business operations, many have concerns of relevancy and sustainability in this new norm.  If your business is one of the ‘privileged’ few that remained open or one that is preparing to open as shelter in place orders are lifted, having the best customer service should be part of your plan to rebuild after coronavirus. Now is a great time be proactive about considering your unique form of customer service and how to distinguish yourself from your competition. Your customers’ experience and how you execute customer service should be core to the fundamental foundation of your business.

How do you create a great customer experience in the midst of a crisis like coronavirus?  There are three things to keep at the forefront of your thinking:

  1. Recognize your customers
  2. Learn your customers
  3. Service your customers

Recognize Your Customers
Recognizing your customers is as simple as acknowledging them, greeting them and listening to them.  Recognizing them should lead to learning them.

Learn Your Customers
Remember the television sitcom “Cheers”, they were famous for their tag line that said, “Where everybody knows your name.”  That is what we should strive to be, a place where we know THEIR names, it’s building a relationship and we know how vital relationships are.  Everybody loves their name called and when you make it personal you care more, listen more and it create more loyalty – also known as a relationship/friendship and everybody wants to do business with their friends. 

I used to frequent a restaurant in Houston named “Zula.”  They were the epitome of this concept.  Shephard, Steve, Jeanette, Jessie, Neil, Stump, Cory and the crew created a culture of this especially if you visited regularly.  They made it a point to know your name, pallet, likes/dislikes and the purpose of your visit.  They were so good, in fact, that they even knew ‘How’ to greet me:  IF I was by myself it would be “What’s up JB, this is what’s on the menu.” IF I was with one of my customers, they would say “Mr. Brown how are you and your guest doing today?  Welcome to Houston and any friend of Mr. Brown’s is a friend of ours, make yourself at home.”  They made you genuinely feel at home, they made you feel welcomed and would even tell you they missed you if you had not been there in a while.  OHHH I Miss Zula J.

Service Your Customers
Now, think about your favorite places to visit. Is there somebody there like Ryan, who is a barista at Starbucks and knows my voice and order FROM THE DRIVE THRU (and I don’t go very often)?  This is how you can service your customers after you’ve taken the time to learn them. Do you think these personal touches make your customers come back?  Of course they do! And, when they come back, after the customer has been recognized and learned you can provide the appropriate service for them because you know them. 

As you reopen and re-engage your business during or after a crisis, take time to put in the personal touches, make each customer MY customer; recognize MY customer, learn MY customer, service MY customer.  These steps will assist you in providing exceptional customer service in and out of a the coronavirus pandemic.


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Written by: James Brown Jr.

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