Is Customer Service a Thing in a Pandemic Environment?

When I was 15 years old, I got my very first real job. I worked in the concession stand at a busy multi-sport facility and I still think it was one of the best first jobs in the world! I would like to say that it was because I loved food services, or that customer service rocked! But those would be lies. Nope – I was a teenage girl and there were a lot of teenaged boys playing sports at that park.

Even though a career in customer service wasn’t my driving reason for working there, I discovered a few things about it that were great:

  • Customers will be nice to you if you’re nice to them.

  • It’s easy to be nice to customers if they’re nice.

  • It’s not so easy to be nice to customers when they’re not nice to you. But, by being nice to cranky customers, you encourage them to be nice in return.

Valuable lessons, all, and this role set me up for a future in which I appreciated the value of customers, and of employees, to the success of the business.

Recently I wrote about demonstrating consideration for the needs of employees in the Return to Work during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this post, I’d like to consider consideration and how it affects customer service.

Consideration can be defined as a thoughtful and sympathetic regard. At this time, we are putting high regard on the physical safety and security of our staff and customers, but what about customer service aspects? Are they getting lost in the shuffle?

Even in a pandemic environment, customer service is very important—for customers and for staff. There have been many stories I’ve heard about customers behaving badly lately, but what we know about providing excellent service can help carry us through even these bad instances.

  • We must treat encounters with customers as interactions, not transactions. Even though we are separated by a safe distance of 6 feet, we still have the opportunity to make customer encounters moments of happiness. Remember what I learned in my first job—customers will be nice to you if you’re nice to them.

  • Excellent