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Post COVID-19: Retaining customers and preparing to bring back employees

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By Sophia Karakeva, Communications and Marketing Executive at DataScouting

The next few months are going to be challenging and critical to position your business in post COVID-19 times. You will have to review dynamically your customer relations and take the appropriate measures to maximize your ability to recover and bring back your employees.

Retaining customers

Changes in customer behavior post covid-19 are a certainty – so embrace the chance to plan

COVID-19 has changed costumer and business behavior, that’s for sure. Long-term social interactions, events, and personal contacts have been affected a great deal. It might sound discouraging, but take these changes as an opportunity to emerge from the crisis a stronger, better positioned, and more valuable business. Talk to your clients to be better prepared, as the new reality will require new or modified products and services. And to market those, you will have to be creative with a new communication approach to your client service strategy.

… so to remain operational and sustainable, companies will have to be proactive

The sooner you realize that the old recipe of success might not work in the new, altered tomorrow, the better. It is essential that you gather insight of your marketplace, collect comments, attitudes and data from your customers, and analyze them. Armed with this new information, you will be ready to re-plan and prioritize your strategies. Act smart, and adopt a proactive approach to understand what changes will occur in your marketplace, and be ready to adjust your products, services, and strategies to meet the current and future needs of your customers.

Show empathy and be authentic

The coronavirus crisis is a good opportunity to show attitude, and put people above budgets and profits. Pushing sales right now could be ineffective, and even seen as opportunistic. Thus, you should rather play the long term game and invest in trust and reputation. It is time to learn how to create community values and principle focus points. Always remember that customers buy value, which means that you manage to meet their needs, because you listen to them. So, focus on providing value, and surely revenue and profit will come along.

employees

Preparing to bring back employees

Keeping it clean and healthy

The re-entry of employees into their physical workspaces will be challenging. They will be worried about their physical safety, so make sure well in advance that you have clear policies about social distancing practices, and assure them that you can maintain high standards for their facilities with the right sanitary measures. You might have to create isolation spaces for employees who might experience symptoms while at work, and adopt quarantine policies.

Embrace a culture for employees based on stability, trust, compassion and hope

Be prepared to reassure and support your employees who may be going through a range of emotions and personal challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Prepare your team for the possibility that you might be testing and screening them for COVID-19 symptoms, as this might raise privacy and employment law issues.  You might have to evaluate shift schedules, rotations and start times in order to minimize exposure.

Technology will undeniably play an important role

You might have to coordinate some of your company to work from home, while others from the office, or eventually everyone working from home for some time more. In any case you need to ensure technology is consistent across the entire company including team communication, video conferencing, project management, and collaboration tools. The good thing is that the current crisis has taught us the value of being well prepared. This means robust IT systems and processes to keep your business functioning as normal.

Those who will manage to reflect on the changing needs of their customers and their employees will emerge as the winners in the long term.