by Jim Hinshaw
We are in the midst of a storm of biblical proportions. Comparing it to anything in the past is useless, we have never seen anything that moved this fast across the world like this Pandemic. What are we to do? Seems like some are doing this: rant and rave on social media to anyone who will engage (this is political, global warming, fulfillment of Bible Prophecy) and you will find those willing to engage rather quickly. Or perhaps we are to watch the news channels 24/7, leave them on all night, so ya don’t miss anything. And we should eat copious amounts of food (have a goal to gain 100 lbs) so you are ready when they start to ration food. None of the above.
I am confident that worrying about this will not do anything to slow the progress of this disease, that will only decrease your mental energy needed to plan for the days ahead. I believe that now, more than ever we need to focus on one thing, and one thing only. That would be to be in the best possible condition physically, mentally and emotionally for when we exit this current situation. My plan, focus on a strategy to get thru this epidemic, to be as strong as possible when we have “flattened the curve”.
So here are some ideas for staying strong. Stop spending. Now. Or, only spend on the essentials, products needed to sanitize your team and the work spaces. Gloves, masks, booties, sanitizer, drop cloths, a great texting program since that is how we will communicate going forward. These are the essentials. Going forward, cash is king. The banks may have to stop lines of credit, the government is rushing to print money to help us thru this crisis, so step up and get involved. Apply for the Paycheck Protection Plan and Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
Second, plan on putting together a Covid-19 Protocol for installs and service. Make that available on social media, would be great to have a video of how you are doing things differently these days to protect homeowners. Video can be on cell phone, 30 – 60 seconds, could be sent to each customer who calls about service or IAQ, everyone! Show the team actually doing what needs to be done to keep them and the homeowner safe! Remember, you have an obligation to the employees as well as the customers.
Thirdly, train your team. Constantly. Let them know what is expected when they interact with customers today. If they are not reminded on a regular basis, they will revert to habit, start shaking hands again, even hug a customer, not good things. Train the CSRs on what to say, what not to say. Let them share the Covid-19 protocols you have in place when that customer calls to cancel or reschedule their service.
Forth, advertise. I just heard a smart man tell me that when times are good you should advertise, when times are tough you MUST advertise. Thanks Lance Lackey! Imagine you are in a room full of competitors, all talking about their business at the same time. Loud, and you can’t understand what anyone is saying. Now, same room, but everyone has shut up but you, your message now sounds clear, and gets thru. That is where we are today, everyone has stopped marketing and advertising. A great reason to keep doing those two things. And the other reason is that when everyone quits, there is a chance your dollars will go further.
Finally, motivate your employees. They are facing the same challenges that the customer is, not sure what the future holds. Motivation is key today; use Zoom or Facetime to get visual contact with the team. It will pay dividends later.
Thanks for listening, stay healthy!