Your customers are forever changed

Three thought-starters to exceed their new expectations

By Mary Patterson

It was only a year ago that our lives and businesses were forever changed, although it does seem like a lifetime. Over the past year, consumers have created new routines, adopted new technologies and formed new expectations of the companies they do business with. 

At the height of the pandemic, customers learned to live without you, or with less of you, so you need to regain their trust. While they may not tell you how they really feel about your operation, they will tell their friends, family and 1,200 neighbors when they take to their Nextdoor app. 

Regardless of the type of business you operate, these three tips and ideas can be applied.

Improved customer service

Even if you have good service, it has to be better now, and keep getting better. Your customers make purchases online, they did things for themselves they may not have before and they learned to live without many things. And in some instances, that ‘deprivation’ led to surprisingly rewarding experiences. 

Think of ways to deepen your relationship with your customers. If you can’t think of ways, ask your customers! You don’t need a fancy survey – simply say, “We really appreciate your business. What could we do to make your experience with us even better?”

Contactless payments

Businesses have gone to great expense and trouble installing plastic partitions and sanitizing door handles and menus. Yet at the end of a safe and sanitary transaction, the customer is handed a payment terminal to insert their credit card. 

Use a QR Code for payment. Square, Paypal and other payment services offer this technology and it is surprisingly easy and affordable. 

Reinvent Social Distancing

Turn lemons into lemonade with ideas that could differentiate you and help you do more business.

Consultants at McKinsey & Company predict 2021 is the year of transition as their studies indicate that people are not going to be excited about crowds and close proximity any time soon. There will not be a “back to normal.” 

Take a cue from the restaurant industry, which adapted to delivery, curbside and new ways of dining in. Think of ways your place of business can be reconfigured or redesigned to give your customers (and employees) more space and comfort.

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