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Steve Isenberg

COVID-19 and the Loss of the Personal Touch

Posted on: November 5, 2020

By: Steve Isenberg

First, it was the digital age, introducing more and better means for communication and “connecting” that did not necessitate a face-to-face or voice-to-voice encounter. With the fingertip ability to chat, comment, link, and like, anytime anyplace, face-to-face connections have dwindled. For the most part, we accepted the trade-off, a loss of personal contact for greater efficiency.

And then overnight, the coronavirus outbreak took a shot at what was left of our in-person encounters. Suddenly, no one wanted to talk to, meet with, or stand too close to another human being. The pandemic threatened to snatch up what was left of the personal touch, to sabotage the individualized approach to customer service.

Blake Morgan, Customer Service Futurist, author, and speaker, discusses the COVID-19-induced customer experience mindset.

 “The COVID-19 – Coronavirus pandemic – will have a lasting impact on the state of the customer. Customers have lost loved ones, jobs, and businesses. Even when life has somewhat returned to normal, people worldwide will have a new hyper-awareness about getting sick from everyday activities in the past they took for granted. Customers are nostalgic for a time when we could live our lives normally, without the new strain COVID has caused on daily life.” 

The good news: a re-strategized approach to customer service can connect with a consumer hungry for connections and the personal touch missing from our day-to-day existence. Consider how these connecting tips will enable your company to put the “personal” back into customer service.

  1. Actions speak louder than words

Sure, reaching out to your clients via a letter lets them know you are thinking about them. An inspiring message on the company Facebook page can convey that we are in this together. But a personal telephone call from a team member to each client, just to check-in and connect with their business, demonstrates a genuine, personal touch.

Go ahead and send the letter. Post frequently across your social media channels. Those are opportunities to connect that should be utilized. But nothing beats a personal check-in.

  1. Strive for sincerity and empathy

Even a personal phone call can take on the attitude of a form letter if it comes across as robotic or merely a chore to cross off one’s to-do list. If you have caught the client at an inopportune time, set up a return call when the time will allow for a genuine conversation that moves beyond the “How are you?” “I’m fine” stage. Customer service is all about a meshing of sincerity with connections, which will foster loyalty and forge strong relationships.

  1. Go the extra mile

The key is to determine what that “extra mile” looks like for each client. That means tailoring your services to their immediate and long-term needs, which means routine reaching out and a finely tuned listening ear. Maybe a Zoom session with one or more of your team strategizing with their critical players about new marketing avenues. Or assisting a client’s management team as they transition to include new targeted industries. The better you understand your clients’ unique needs, the more beneficial your services can be to them during this challenging time.

Remaining on your clients’ radar, whether they currently need your assistance with staffing, will keep you top of mind when they do require staffing services. And when their associates catch wind of such acts of genuine, personalized customer service, that is the best type of endorsement you could hope to win.

ASJ Partners understands the depth of the COVID-19 impact on today’s staffing industry. Our experienced team of marketing specialists stands ready to be your partners during this critical season in history. Contact us today at 610.930.5300 or via email at weneedhelp@asjpartners.com.



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