Perfect time to practice ‘peer’ customer service

I’ve often said that we’re all small businesses consisting of ourselves. While we may not be self-employed, we all certainly perform what can be called basic business functions in our day-to-day lives. The current coronavirus crisis provides an opportunity to practice “B2B” customer service with our family, friends, colleagues, neighbors and communities-at-large.

In essence, we help inform, safeguard and educate each other—along with just being there for emotional and other needed support. This type of customer service requires only that people tune in and support each other in the best ways they can.

It’s both a logical and herculean task. We’ve become accustomed to daily lives that often tune out people who are so important to our welfare. Busy children ignore their aging parents because they have their own kids and careers that are top priorities. Colleagues climb over each other to move up the corporate ladder, without stopping to consider if/how they could work together for everyone’s benefit. Longtime friends become distant because of so many intervening pressures and responsibilities.

Stop and think about it: We all have a substantial base of “peers,” from our most inner circles to ever-widening bases—social, work, fellowship and the like. As coronavirus concerns shut down many of our day-to-day interactions, it’s a great time to move closer in to those inner circles and concentrate on being the best customer service providers we can.

Establishing consumer awareness, ensuring consumer safety and promoting education are three critical customer service functions. As everything from product counterfeiting to coronaviruses becomes more front-and-center in the eyes of the public, companies need to step up their game to provide critical information and help safeguard the public as best they can.

MARK LUSKY

For example, I live in a 55+ plus community multi-family dwelling. I’ve developed a number of close friends in the last several years. Amid the looming challenges presented by the coronavirus, we’ve come together to pledge our support for one another—from teaming up on foodstuffs as needed to providing emotional backup and being good company to one another. (No, we’ve not yet inventoried our supplies of toilet paper or sanitizers, but I suppose we could if need be! 😊)

This is so basic, and yet has become so foreign in our often overwhelming and out-of-control daily lives. Given that our senior living community is basically shutting down all group functions and activities—from social events to the athletic center and swimming pool—the attractiveness (and necessity) of smaller group interactions becomes more front-and-center.

Last Saturday night, faced with cancellation of a nearby dance at the Rendezvous restaurant in Heather Gardens, I hosted a pre-St. Pat’s party at my place for the same group that had planned on partying elsewhere. While we didn’t shake our “groove thing,” we had a great time, good food and insightful conversation—followed by an Irish-themed movie with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara called, “The Quiet Man.”

Given that we’re likely to be in a “new normal” for awhile, let’s use this as an opportunity to offer great “customer service” to one another—reinforcing and rekindling relationships wherever we can.

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Read Part 1 of this series:
Coronavirus claims deserve utmost scrutiny, truthtelling.

Read Part 2 of this series:
Sensationalized coronavirus media reports, Trump Administration containment claims damage ‘customer service’

Stay tuned for Part 4 next week.

Do you have customer service snafus or stellar experiences to share? If so, feel free to comment on this post or email your thoughts to mark@marklusky.com.

Mark Lusky is a veteran writer, storyteller and author, with 40+ years of public relations, advertising, marketing and journalism experience.

Author of A Wandering Wondering Jew… and co-author of Don’t Get Mad, Get Leverage,  Mark (aka The Happy Curmudgeon) is the owner of a Denver-based marketing communications firm.

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