Right now, in the current global situation, it can be easy to think the rules of building a successful business has changed.
While much has changed in the way we work, some for the better, keeping the customer at the centre of your business has not changed and is more important than ever.
While much has changed in our personal and professional lives, we can still be of service to our customers, supporting them in a meaningful, human and relevant way.
As Australia began to close its borders, I had been working in the US and needed to cut my trip short to return home. During this time, it was difficult to find a flight that could take me home. Of course, I was with many other people trying to do the same.
While I normally find the airline staff to be caring and helpful, this was not the case. Instead of acknowledging my concerns, the staff were uncaring, not helpful and I was told it wasn’t their problem.
In these situations, it’s important to get into the world of your customer, while they may not have the answers and couldn’t guarantee I could get on the flight, they could have outlined what my options were.
Customers want to know what you can do, even if it is very little, rather than being told what you cannot do. They want to be heard and feel understood. This is a very different way of getting on the customer’s level and putting yourself in their world.
A customer-focused example of this is when my bank called me unprompted to let me know how far ahead I was in my loan, and if I was experiencing financial difficulties, I could stop paying the loan for a certain amount of time and would not be penalised. At this time, I had been looking into changing banks, however, I’m highly unlikely to do this now. Their customer service was exceptional, they were in the world of me.
In times of crisis, people want to be seen and understood. They may forget what you said and did, but they will never forget how you made them feel. If you get this right, you will win with your customers in the long term.
During this time, how can you be of service to your customers? How are you supporting your customers right now in a meaningful, human, and relevant way?