CUSTOMERS ARE NERVOUS AND CONFUSED
The headlines are everywhere. Covid-19 infection rates are soaring again. States are rolling back their re-opening plans. It's clear, COVID-19 is here to stay for quite a while.
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The press is as loud as ever, giving viewers every perspective they could ever want to hear.
- Wear your mask.
- Don't force me to wear a mask. Use hand sanitizer.
- The virus is not transmitted through touching surfaces.
- It's only affecting young people.
- Just quarantine the elderly.
- Vaccines are coming.
- Treatment is the only effective strategy.
Who knows what to believe?!
What data is telling us - outside of editorials - is one sobering fact; Seniors and people with limited mobility due to illness or injury are most at risk. 40% of the deaths in the U.S. have come from nursing homes.
Your customers; our parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors, are nervous and overwhelmed.
How do they react? As infection rates grow, these at-risk populations stay home. No vacations this year. No trips to the lake. No weekends at the kid's house.
What does that mean to your business? The VA is seeing less traffic from Veterans, even after opening clinics. Mobility products like scooters and scooter lifts continue to be slow. Dad doesn't need a scooter or scooter lift if he isn't going out. Mom can pick up the groceries. Even access products are being affected as people don't want visitors in their homes.
So what can we do? On a personal level, talk to the young adults in your life and ask them to practice social distancing. Wear masks wherever you go, it's a small sacrifice.
For our businesses though, we need to connect with our customers and let them know we care and understand what they are going through:
- Re-position your marketing around being helpful and listening. "Ask us how we can make your install less stressful." "Need help moving around your home? We are here to listen."
- Use empathy when talking to customers. Ask them how they're doing. Then listen. Ask how you can make the experience less stressful for them. Then listen. Then listen more.
- Promote your enhanced protocols and contactless installs. I know you are tired of saying it, but your customers aren't tired of hearing it.
- Call the day before you go to confirm the appointment and ask again if they have any concerns. Remind them about your protocols. Call after the install to check again. Customers are one of your best referral sources.
- Use PPE, hand sanitizer, stay 6 feet apart and clean after install.
Even if you are not concerned, your customers are. This isn't over yet.