Trusted customer relationships remain top of mind
The level of customer service you offer your clients definitely has a major impact on their loyalty, retention and ongoing sales. This means that even during the adjusted level one lockdown, it is imperative to have dedicated support staff who can provide prompt responses and set high standards for the quality of your service.
“We are extremely proud of the way we were able to adapt during the lockdown, and after that, not only from a delivery perspective but from a marketing and operational perspective. We moved to remote working with no interruption to our clients or our business, and immediately started to think outside the box about how we could better service clients,” says Nicole Astfalck, Associate Director of Sales and Marketing at Futuresense.
“In order to provide our clients with the highest levels of good service, we needed to switch to remote work and develop digital skills rapidly. We needed to ensure solid Internet connectivity for all our staff. Without this, it is virtually impossible to work productively and stay connected. We also needed to build technology capabilities and enhance our support offerings to our client base to support them during their critical peak times.”
She points out that remote working has always been a heated debate among traditional, corporate companies. “The pandemic forced companies to accept that remote working is not something to fear but an alternative way to work and test the productivity of employees. Trust has played a major role in this transition: Trusting that employees will complete tasks at hand with the same effort and energy as they would in the office.”
Astfalck adds that new management styles needed to evolve within the company, including measuring and managing performance using more outcomes-based KPIs, with regular checkpoints to ensure teams are more productive and efficient. Trust, she says, has also been essential to maintaining and growing customer relationships.
“With limits on face-to-face communication, we have focused on ensuring that we provide the right messages, in the right tone, to keep in touch with customers. Tone is very important in marketing communications, and this can be missed in e-mails or other electronic communication methods. Clients and customers are bombarded daily with e-mails, webinar invites, social media posts, e-books, and so on, and we need to be able to stand out in the clutter now more than ever in a way that speaks to our clients and staff.”
Astfalck says Futuresense has always been a customer-centric company, but in the wake of COVID-19, it is even more focused on being a chosen partner. The pandemic may have changed a great deal in our day-to-day lives, but one thing has always been at the forefront of our business – our close relationships with our customers. Now, more than ever, we are focusing on growing these relationships, and will continue to do so into the future.”