The world has changed. The pandemic of 2020-21 has and will continue to require new and different attitudes and business processes for the near future. Whether we like it or not, it has changed our daily life; at home, in public, at work, everywhere we go, and in everything we do.
Business today, and moving forward for the foreseeable future, has significantly changed – forcing us (some of us kicking and screaming) to be more cautious, accepting, and aware of others around us. Clients, customers, our employees, and the public at large are all fearful of the virus, and many are so fearful they don’t want to work in the office anymore with co-workers. This thought process is at work with many of your customers also. It is no longer “business as usual!” The world has changed, and your customers now expect you to operate at a high level of safety and cleanliness.
We all have opinions – and for some of us – our opinion is the only correct one! There, I said it… you all wanted to but were nervous. By viewing, reading, (and sometimes commenting), on the enormous stream of posts regarding anything pandemic related, it’s difficult to fully embrace all angles. In fact, there are many opposing comments, all of which have some logic and make good sense. However, emotion is the number one trigger moving people, and emotion – rarely is based on fact or logic. It’s my estimate that in the US, 50% of the public will not get vaccinated because they know it takes 10 years to perfect and make safe the vaccine. It’s not very reassuring when they claim to have achieved that same level of safety in 9 months!
Your customers, clients, prospects, and the general public will expect you to treat their home and their business very differently than you have in the past. Sure, previously, many of us used booties, walk-off mats, protective runners (drop cloths), corner buddies, and other things to provide our clients with the assurance that we were being careful with their homes.
Today, and moving into the near future, you can expect customers to:
- limit access to their home or business
- use internet technology for monitoring
- wearing PPE, gloves, goggles, masks, etc.
- clean and disinfect all surfaces that you touched
- use tablets and phones for signatures
- use email instead of paper documents
- touchless payments and online appointments
- touchless faucets, soap dispensers, and hand-drying equipment
- texting appointment info when technicians are on the way
- QR codes for access to websites, review sites, menus
- Zoom or video calls to view damage or conditions
- Zoom & video calls for marketing and client interaction
- Re-engaging the telephone to connect with clients
- embrace local small businesses more than the national chains
We all know by now that “what the customer wants – the customer gets.” This is obviously extended to every aspect of the public. Like it or not, Media and the government have successfully put fear in many people about the dangers of Covid-19.
Because of that, these new attitudes, combined with what people are demanding openly from businesses, have ushered in a “new normal” business climate. With our varied opinions regarding the legitimacy of the pandemic (which may be overstated), or seen as political, the fact remains that business has radically changed in 2020, and moving into 2021 and beyond, consumers are expecting a totally new and different interaction and engagement.
Organizations, both governmental and private sector industry will have to conduct business in a new and careful way, demonstrating they are serious about public safety and health, just to reassure customers they will be safe working for you or hiring you!
By Dick Wagner, Co-Founder The CREST Network, LLC
Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker
Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program
Owner of AskDickWagner.com BLOG