“They’re people, not buildings”: How to maintain a strong client relationship in the time of social distancing

YourLink co-founders Rick Hollingworth and Richard Scenna.

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has changed the way we think, act and connect. Over the last six months we have seen businesses in almost every industry pivot their offerings to make it through what has been an incredibly unique time.

We have learnt that our future is very much dependent on how we adapt and respond to this new way of life. How do we create and grow sustainable businesses in the midst of a global health and economic pandemic? How can we build relationships that help us become better individuals and create better businesses?

As restrictions begin to ease in Australia and we can see light at the end of tunnel, it is important to recognise the lessons we have learnt and how these lessons can translate into future business success.

At YourLink, in response to COVID-19, we have adapted in a way which led us to continue assisting aged care providers and the socially isolated seniors they support, despite the lockdown. These approaches can be implemented by other start-ups and business owners so they too can successfully guide their offerings through this period of change to continue to meet the needs of their clients.

You control your client relationship

Our focus has remained on keeping the client experience at the forefront of our minds. With so many moments being disrupted, the question remains – how can you meet the needs of your clients in a period of uncertainty? What are the ‘new’ moments that will matter in a more online world?

While there may be things that are out of your control, practicing empathy and open communication is within your control. We conduct business with people, not buildings, and so the very decision-makers, teams and seniors we work with are navigating their own journeys and will always appreciate good and personal service.

Don’t be scared to try new, less than perfect, ways of doing business

Every sector and household has been impacted. What this means is that you have an opportunity to do things differently.

Some approaches will work and some may not, but there has never been a time like now – where a broad cross section of businesses, government and consumers are prepared to try different ways of engaging with you.

All your prior work informs this next iteration, so adapting doesn’t necessarily mean you’re throwing that work out. As you try new things, it’s essential to get feedback and listen to it.

Accept that plans will evolve

We learnt very early in our business that while having a project plan, event run sheet or idea of how a project or task will go is important, it was just as important to acknowledge that these will change.

Managing expectations from the outset assures everyone that change is ok. Focus on the problems you can solve so that you’re not overwhelmed by all the future scenarios and possibilities of problems that don’t exist yet.

Particularly for clients like the ones YourLink works with in aged care and community care, these environments and individual circumstances can change day to day, and it’s a strength of our business that we have learned to adapt to these changes and even embrace them.

The global pandemic has presented the opportunity to businesses all over the world to pivot their approach, and in order to remain sustainable and successful we all need to adapt.

NOW READ: Why branding and marketing are the key ingredients for your business’s poke bowl of success

NOW READ: Five brand marketing lessons to take from COVID-19

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