Customer Service 2020
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How much does your customer service matter?
How is it different in 2020?
How will it look in 2021?
Ask yourself this: would I rather retain loyal customers or constantly be trying to find new ones?
What I have found, in 2020 more than any previous year of my life, is that we as customers will be loyal to a company that cares over the cheaper version with the same product.
And, what we have found as business owners and management in 2020, is that the theme of this year should have been ‘PIVOT!‘
In Austin, we watched many in-person businesses board up, and many of them closed for good. It has been devastating as Austinites, but also for many families dependent on in-person business.
The ones who have survived had to ‘PIVOT‘ Big Time. The ones who pivoted on a dime… quickly… are the ones ahead of the game as we wind 2020 down.
For example, local business owners Alyssa and Mica Villalon could have stopped and folded all business in March, when lockdown occurred and their in person children’s sports education service had to temporarily cease in person practice.
Not only did they see opportunity in how to present Sportball in a whole new way upon reopening, but they saw a huge opportunity in education.
They saw that their friends in business with small children were going to need help managing a new normal in at-home public schooling. So, they quickly started “Teachers 2U,” hiring former educators to lead small groups safely with in-person pod schooling.
Now, parents see the Villalon family as “getting them,” seeing their need and addressing it, creating new loyal customers more likely to use Teachers 2U AND Sportball services.
And, how you treat people does come back to you.
We have a lovely little deli / ice cream / coffee shop here in my neighborhood. When there is a neighborhood event, Cups and Cones is there. Kids and teachers need meals to go? Cups and Cones will package beautiful lunches for hundreds of people with little notice. When you stop by Cups and Cones, you know you will be taken care of with a smile.
My neighborhood watched the other local coffee shop close down, as well as the other cafe.
We saw that our local businesses were suffering, and that no one was giving them a break on the extremely high rent they are charged.
During this long time at home, a group of women started a simple Facebook group where they simply do nice things to lift each other up. You might drop off some goodies on someone’s porch that is having a bad day or make a meal for a mom that is trying to juggle all the things.
They decided that with all Cups and Cones does for us, that we would do for them.
So, the group raised $9000 over a week’s time to help pay rent.
As you can see, the biggest ‘PIVOT‘ of all is that it is no longer simply “customer service.” It is “customer relationships.”
You might have found this with companies you believe in; that you would rather support them and remain loyal than go to their competitor for a cheaper rate, simply because you align with their values and appreciate their service.
As we go into 2021, if we have already figured this out, it won’t be such a ‘PIVOT‘ moving forward. If we remember that our customer holds a special relationship to us, and believes in something we show up for, we will be the ones winning in business.
We may have to change in-person rules again and again. We may have to change some of our service plans. But our customer sees who we are and what we do, regardless of the delivery. In businesses like Teachers 2U and Cups and Cones that will continue to stand out in the marketplace.
Organizational Fundamental #7: ALWAYS SERVE THE CUSTOMER Remember our founding principle “we work in partnership,” always! In all situations do what’s best for the customer, even if it’s to our own detriment.
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