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Northern Powerhouse European Union

Customer service

This page was updated on 10 July 2020.

Customers are central to the success of your business and as such should be at the heart of all your planning around Coronavirus:

Keep in touch

Have a clear plan for keeping in touch with your customers. This should include:  

  • A clear consistent message with regular updates to manage expectations. Think about all types of communication and have a consistent message through things like standard emails, telephone scripts, daily website updates and e newsletters. 

This will be particularly important to ensure you inform your customers of the social distancing and safety measures that you have implemented which they will be required to follow when visiting. This will also include appropriate signage to be used onsite.

  • Clarity around who the point of contact is for each customer.
  • Record all customer conversations, if possible, on a central system such as CRM or simple spreadsheet which can be accessed remotely.
  • If you belong to certain sectors including hospitality, leisure and tourism, close contact services, places of worship and others, collect and maintain records of staff, customers and visitors for 21 days to support the NHS Test and Trace service respond to any local outbreaks.
  • If there are changes with customer facing staff, ensure this is communicated to customers.
    • If you recruit new staff, or move staff over to customer facing roles, provide online customer service training. In Greater Manchester there are funded opportunities for customer service training, more information can be found here.
    • Support staff who are working remotely. Guidance on remote working can be found here.

 If you do anticipate production and delivery issues, it is crucial that you maintain a dialogue with your customers. Effective communication is key.

Keeping customers onside

  • As part of the customer plan, contact all key clients and customers to update them on production, delivery schedules and any major issues.
  • Be realistic - over promising is definitely not a course of action you should be taking.
  • Your clients are likely to be having similar issues and the chance to discuss concerns will be appreciated.
  • Keep in touch regularly – take this as an opportunity to promote improved dialogue, it may even strengthen your relationships.
  • Think creatively about supply chain and how to overcome production issues. You can find more advice on supply chain here.
  • For some customers it is not all about the price. Quality and availability may be key factors for customers.
  • Above all be open and honest.

Keep the cash coming in

Maintaining your credit control processes is critical during this time. Refer to our blog ‘Coronavirus – keeping the cash flowing’. 

The UK Government has also published support measures to aide economic challenges, a summary of which can be seen on our Finance page. 

Further details on these schemes can be seen on our Business FAQs page and the GOV.UK Coronavirus Support for Business page.

Contractual obligations

Businesses should consider that they may have contractual obligations to their clients. Take time to review contracts and understand your obligations and the conditions in the event you are unable to deliver. Maintaining a dialogue with your customers will be crucial during this process.

If you are concerned, be sure to consult your legal advisors to understand your options.

 

For more information get in touch with us here.

 

Further details on these schemes can be seen on our Business FAQs page and the GOV.UK Support for Business page

 

The information provided is meant as a general guide only rather than advice or assurance. GC Business Growth Hub does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information and professional guidance should be sought on all aspects of business planning and responses to the coronavirus. Use of this guide and toolkit are entirely at the risk of the user. Any hyperlinks from this document are to external resources not connected to the GC Business Growth Hub and The Growth Company is not responsible for the content within any hyperlinked site.