I’m working from home. In my kitchen. We have 40 team members doing the same, many with spouses, partners and children nearby. Our workflows are different. We’re delivering content to customers in new formats. Creative debates and strategy discussions are handled on Microsoft Teams®. Our work lives have changed.
I’m confident our customers don’t care about how our work lives and processes have changed. What really matters is that we consider how our customers’ work lives have changed. And that’s what should matter to you, too.
In Parts 1 and 2 of this blog series, we reflected on new ways to communicate during this all-digital, shelter-in-place period, using different media and techniques to deliver content and pseudo “in-person” experiences in order to keep you connected with customers. This blog explores the next level of engagement, which is understanding the way your customers’ work experience is changing, and determining whether something you do as a partner can fill a gap or supplement their new experience.
Here’s a simple example. There’s an amazing florist we’ve used for years — Oberer’s — who reached out to us proactively about the timing of our work-from-home plans. Once they knew when we would be out of the office (and therefore unable to give them access to care for our plants), they scheduled their team to remove all our plants and hold them in their greenhouses until we returned. It was a little gesture, but they saw things would change and adapted their service to help.
Most, if not all, of our clients serve and provide products for critical, essential industries. Even so, they have customers and partners experiencing production line suspensions, reductions in workforce, postponed projects and stalled sales cycles. This will no doubt be a frustrating time as major investments are canceled and overall spending is scaled back. How can you continue to be relevant and helpful? Ask your customers. Find out what’s troubling them and learn what’s changing. If the answers aren’t clear, then this is a chance to use your imagination and anticipate where you can add value.