Businesses have been operating for about a year since having been presented with unparalleled challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many are operating remotely, conducting business at a reduced capacity, and adjusting their standard business practices in order to meet their client/customer demands.
During these challenging times, many businesses are trying to maintain their operations. However, there are opportunities to grow the business and make a positive impact by focusing on the two most important aspects: customers and employees.
Below are a few customer and employee-focused considerations that could have a direct impact on your business growth.
Strengthen Customer Relationships
Without customers and clients, businesses cease to exist. It has always been paramount to maintain and grow customer relationships, but never more than now. It feels like a lifetime ago that conducting in-person meetings and having lunches with customers was commonplace. While we hope to get back to that soon, we have been forced to adapt.
Nowadays, many of us have become Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Meets, etc. experts. Having touch points with your customers is important and using these platforms to check in, look for ways to add value, and provide guidance and instruction strengthens those relationships. It reminds these valued customers why they started working with you in the first place. Consider hosting quarterly virtual meetings to maintain touchpoints and hosting webinars that are relevant to the industry.
Many of our customers are operating in the same business environment that we are, and what they are finding is that it is easier to participate in these virtual events than events of the past. Be sure to utilize social media. Post messages that are important to your business and pay attention to what your customers are saying and doing on social platforms.
Focus on Your Employees
Many businesses will say their greatest assets are their employees. Now is the best time to support and invest in your team. In these uncertain times, how you treat your employees and grow the team will be remembered for years to come. The pandemic has separated employees from their usual workspaces, co-workers, and daily routines – all of which had some impact on team cohesion and morale.
Show appreciation for your employees. With the stresses that exist in the current work environment, it is important to provide praise, recognize successes, allow employees to interact with senior leadership, and acknowledging their efforts and contributions. These can be recognized over email blasts, company intranet pages, and during virtual meetings.
Everyone has a different family situation, and having an understanding and being flexible to each situation is important. Many businesses have regular check-ins with their employees to see how they and their families are doing and to ensure they are not experiencing any difficulties in completing their daily tasks. If they are, businesses should provide assistance to maintain productivity.
Give consideration to cross-training staff. Entrusting employees with new responsibilities may seem counterintuitive due to the current work environment, but many employees feel empowered by new responsibilities and it can contribute to improved morale. By developing new skills, employees will be more knowledgeable and it could lead to increased productivity and efficiencies down the road.
Despite the obstacles that many have been faced with over the past year, businesses must not lose sight of growth opportunities. Remember to take the time to invest in your customer and employee relationships to make a lasting impact on your company.
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