The customer is not king in the age of COVID 19
Apr 13, 2020
I must admit that I have found myself looking at blogs and sponsored posts that pop up in my various timelines during the last month, and thinking ‘really?’ is now the time to be doing that or saying that?
Millions of people globally, have found themselves without gainful employment at the drop of a hat, and your pushing a non-essential service, a service I could barely care for before all of this?
That has been my reaction a few times, I must admit. The response from some companies has been lacking in decorum, or so it felt at first sight.
The customer has been elevated, and they are now GOD
However, if I unpack that a bit more, and think about it further, you find yourself asking questions like ‘what are they supposed to do, what reaction should a business actually have?’
Do businesses have to do something in the face of adversity surely?
Well, one thing you can do if you want to stay in business, now more than ever, is to place the customer front and centre.
The famous saying is that the customer is king.
Well, today in the age of COVID-19 the customer is no longer king.
The customer has been elevated, and they are now GOD.
You must be creative and innovative in not only how you engage with them, but also in how you are working with them to give them what they need.
Some pubs and restaurants faced overnight extinction when the lockdowns were announced.
However there are many restaurants and pubs who are now offering the customer something different, and something befitting the current climes.
Pubs and restaurants are now serving to take away fayre to their local customers, and customers realising that it is them who keep them alive in a business sense, are trying to spend their money in the right places.
Cocktail bars like 33 Cank St in Leicester https://www.bar33cankstreet.com/are now offering freshly pre-batched and bottled cocktails delivered to your door.
The Manchester club, the Hacienda hosted a stay at home rave on the 11th of April, to phenomenal success. Dj’s including Todd Terry and Roger Sanchez streamed sets during an all-day rave, that had over 1.3 million views.
The Hacienda was making the most of a difficult situation and not only that they well may have created a new genre of entertainment, stay at home clubbing no less.
They may have also created a new customer base and one that could return to visit its storefront, in one way or another.
Let’s be clear, no one should be taking advantage of customers during these difficult times, and there will be plenty of lists spring up over the next few months showcasing the ‘worst’ CEO and ‘worst’ businesses.
Customers and the public won’t forget how you treat them either, they will have long memories.
Moving forward some people won’t have the money they once had, and there are some great businesses who are now giving their customers a leg up during difficult times.
Webflow https://webflow.com/covid-business-resources?utm_source=homepage who help customers create websites and more are offering free mentorship and free services for the next few months to those customers who may be going through a bit of a difficult patch. Not only can customers get free services, but the matching up with a mentor to help you with your website is a lovely touch. The icing on the cake.
The National Theatre https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/nt-at-home is putting free streams of shows up on the web so that you can watch some amazing theatre at home during the lockdown. Again perhaps they are creating a new audience and a way of engaging with them, that could reap rewards moving forward?
What can we learn from companies like these?
Well, not all is lost, and there is a way forward.
Just step back, take the advice of your wider team, and put the customer on a higher platform than ever before.
The customer is God after all.
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