Last Monday, we opened our pool. When we bought our house in the fall, the pool was under the winter cover, and given what we had just gone through with our water leak, we didn't know what to expect. My wife was pretty nervous.
One of the local pool companies arrived and the crew quickly got the winter cover off. The pool looked surprisingly good. Aside from a few confusing minutes trying to figure out which breaker fired up the equipment, the pool is in great shape. We heated the pool and the kids were swimming all weekend long.
It was a great weekend.
I've been super impressed with the pool company who called me the following day to make sure I was happy with the pool opening. A week later, they called me again to check in and see if I had any questions about operating the pool. I was lucky to be speaking to the manager, and she explained this was simply part of their customer follow-up process.
She said it's something we do for ALL of our customers, all the time.
It got me thinking about all the silly things companies are doing and, more importantly, still aren't doing eight weeks into the pandemic.
Let me give you a few examples.
Yesterday, I was speaking to a colleague who consults professional trade associations, and by his words, "They're freaking out! They can't hold live events. They can't deliver value. They're trying to reinvent themselves."
I would argue that many were already dying a slow miserable death, and this is just bringing it to their attention (especially if the ONLY value they could deliver was holding live events)...
But this might be the lifeline they needed to survive.
To ask the tough questions, like: “What is our purpose? What do we actually do for our members/customers? How can we do it better? How do we actually add value?”
The clients I'm working with right now are all reinventing themselves and rightfully so, but the most successful ones are using this time to put the things in place they should have had in place years ago.
They're not just saying they're "pivoting" and "reinventing" themselves by running a few zoom events and hoping things blow over. They know this time is different. That won't be enough.
Instead, they're making things like webinars and virtual training part of their ongoing sales & marketing efforts and they’re getting serious about it. They're getting serious about getting GOOD at it. I've been working with entire sales teams to help them improve their virtual efforts and customer discussions in a virtual world.
Not because it’s ALL they can do now, but because they know it’s going to be different when the pandemic is over. They have no choice.
Those managing virtual sales teams are finally getting serious about setting expectations of activity and measuring that activity.
Those continuing to provide services (like my pool company) are using this time to build out and refine things like a robust post-purchase process that will remain in place long before the pandemic is over.
Unfortunately, a lot of companies out there are using this as a time to continue to stink, when they should be using this as a time to shine and over-deliver in all ways possible.
Here's a stark contrast between two of Canada's largest banks.
CIBC provides customers with regularly updated wait times to speak to someone. Those times are between 30 minutes to an hour and listed right on the front page of their website. Not bad.
Meanwhile, Bank of Montreal, for example, says a customer service response can now take between 5-10 days, yes days. How is that even possible? Why can't they shore up a few extra resources?
What an opportunity simply being handed to their competitors!
Meanwhile, my mortgage provider reached out to see how we were doing, if COVID had impacted us, and if they could help us in any way. My car manufacturer sent me a letter telling me to keep my expired lease, at no cost, until it could be safely returned.
But I have not heard from my bank, my insurance provider, my cellular provider, and many other companies I deal with regularly.
Questions To Consider This Week
How will your business be different in a post-Covid world?
What areas of your business have you improved over the past eight weeks, if any?
Could you improve or get help in the following areas:
- Mapping out your sales process (every business has a sales process whether you’ve defined it or not!)
- Working to define what happens after a prospect becomes a customer.
- Building out an ongoing customer engagement/retention process.
- Creating more referrals and more positive word-of-mouth.
- Exception reporting to ensure the most important parts of each process aren’t following through the cracks (How quickly do you respond to leads? How long do customer service requests take your company? How do you know leads have been followed up on?)
I’m working with a number of companies right now in these areas and many more.
I’d love to help you.
If we’re not already working together, visit my site and schedule a call so I can share how we’re tackling these topics in other companies, the results they’re experiencing, and how yours can do the time.
The irony of this horrible pandemic is that it’s going to serve as the lifeline for many companies, giving them the time to do the things they should have done yesterday.
Are you using your time wisely?