Navigating the New Normal: Connecting with Clients Virtually
By James Hochreutiner Vice President, Global Solutions, KellyOCG
In just a few weeks, the world has changed. A third of the globe is in some form of lockdown due to Covid-19. This means that many of those activities we took for granted have transformed. From queuing to pick up groceries to teaching the kids from the dining table, life feels very different than it did a couple of months ago! For many of us, work has also shifted – with millions of people moving to full-time home working. This impacts not only the ways we interact with our co-workers, but with our clients too. No more grabbing a coffee to iron out the final details of a new process or popping over to site to pick up paperwork. We have to navigate a new way. This transition to virtual relationships can be jarring, but as we all get to grips with the new normal, it’s never been more important to stay connected to the people whose businesses we support.
I take a closer look at the ways we can nurture better virtual relationships with clients, below.
Infrastructure is Key
You can’t stay connected if you can’t connect. We all know the pain of fuzzy video conferences or robotic online calls and making sure you have the right tech to reach out is vital. Some of this is in the network’s hands, and, around the world, many providers are working hard to make sure they can keep up with unprecedented demand. But ensuring you have a robust infrastructure that can support your people and their work is crucial to partnering with your clients effectively.
Changing the Nature of Collaboration
As we attempt to build new ways of working, we have to be more open to sharing ideas, information, and even technology to allow us to work together more effectively. From opening up internal messaging platforms to allow clients to quickly find and connect with the people they need to providing access to key documents and information on cloud-based storage platforms. Take some time to think about what your clients need to work effectively and how you can partner with them flexibly to provide these resources.
Communicating in New Ways
Over the past few years or even decades, the way we communicate in business has changed. Calls are arranged at set times, usually using remote software, and unplanned calls are few and far between. In this new world, ways of working are changing. Many of us are trying to balance full-time work with childcare, supporting vulnerable loved ones, and even volunteering in our communities. Sharing online availability through virtual platforms can help us to flex communication around different time zones and unpredictable schedules.
Procedures and rules are an important part of any organization, but it’s important to remember that very few of those processes and rules were created to play out in the face of global pandemic. Client needs may change quickly in this unprecedented environment, and we must be prepared to step up where possible. A flexible approach and the ability to quickly adapt to evolving business needs has never been more important.
None of us have a crystal ball. We don’t know how long the restrictions that are in place will last. Or how the world will look when we come out of the other side. It’s possible that the ways we work and communicate will have changed forever. But right now, it’s vital we all do what we can to keep each other safe, well, and supported. By continuing to provide our clients with expert advice and flexible services, we can help businesses and people around the globe at an incredibly tough time. This new normal has arrived and it’s only by working together that we can navigate it successfully.