We are faced with unprecedented challenges.
Not just our organizations, but our whole world. We toss around terms like social distancing and pandemic in ways we couldn’t have imagined a few short weeks or even days ago.
We are in this together, as we struggle with the challenges of COVID-19 and how this coronavirus has redefined our work, our goals, our challenges and our daily lives.
I write this in a new reality. My 15-year old high school sophomore son is working diligently on his brand new e-learning curriculum as school is closed for the foreseeable future.
His 12-year old brother and my husband who is now working from home have set up their workstations downstairs.
My travel calendar is clear. We are looking after our neighbors and parents as best we can.
And as leadership teams work to put together remote working plans and the infrastructure required to support that, they are looking for ways to determine what’s really important right now. Customers, employees, partners, suppliers and everyone in between is confused.
Leaders want to lead. We want to make big plans. That’s why this quote from Daniel Burnham is beloved by a certain type: “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood.”
But what if right now, all we can feasibly make are “little” plans? What if all we have is one step at a time?
Here are a few ideas for those leaders who are looking for ways to keep the customer experience momentum going in these uncertain times.
Use your existing customer journey maps to find ways to address specific challenges.
If you have a journey map, now is your time to use it.
Leverage what you know to understand what your customers need and where they need it in the journey. Shore up what you need to provide the best experience you can for these situations.
Leverage micro-mapping to map out temporary or shorter-term solutions.
Micro-mapping is a way to get to the problem and solution quickly.
Encourage your employees and teams to use this in any way they can. There’s no shame in micromapping on a home office wall in post-it notes!
Keep up the community learning.
With your team members likely more isolated from each other more than ever, those organic best practices that are shared in a common space are going to be harder to share.
Creating a space for learning and sharing those best practices on a regular cadence is an important way to create and keep community.
Schedule more support if you can.
Not just customer support, but support for your agents, managers and yourself!
Schedule regular checkins with small groups or one-on-one to help those team members we say “we’re there for” actually see the action behind that statement.
Lean on your mission.
Your customer experience mission is there to provide guidance.
Your employees are making judgment calls every day regarding how to handle situations they have literally never even thought of before, unless you handled your pandemic prep training when most organizations didn’t.
Your mission is there to help them make the “right” call as much as they can. Refer and repeat it to provide a north star for these short-term decisions when possible.
These are not all the answers, and frankly we don’t know all the questions. But during this time let’s help each other and keep focusing on the experience we want.