If you're a parent, you know that back-to-school time brings a mixed bag of emotions into your household under NORMAL circumstances. This year is bringing extraordinary feels to millions thanks to COVID changing the landscape of, well... everything.
Parents are stressed to the hilt trying to figure out remote-learning and how to schedule their own work schedules around their children's learning schedules. Kids are nervous for a strange educational experience and excited to get back out into the world all at once. Everyone is mourning the end of summer but cheering on a hopeful, next step in this crazy year we've all been living through.
Even if you don't have kids, you're seeing this all play out with friends and family, which means your clients are also in the same boat. We've come up with a few ways that you and your agency can show your customers that you're there for them in these hectic and uncertain times.
1. BE THERE
If you know that a client has kids at home (or if they're a teacher) and they're dealing with this major back-to-school transition, shoot them a note. For example: "Hey Rob, Just thinking of you with all of this back-to-school craziness. I know times are nuts. I hope you and your family are easing back into the school year as best as you can. If there's anything I can do to help, please don't hesitate to let me know!" This small touch says that you see your client, you understand their situation and you're around if they need you.
2. BE FLEXIBLE
Things are changing on the fly every day for your customers with kids right now. You're going to inevitably run into schedule changes and meeting cancellations. Make sure your clients know that you're aware things are shaky right now and you're happy to set up a meeting whenever and however it works best for them. Maybe suggest meetings that don't require leaving the house. Zoom calls instead of a face-to-face meetings. Send them everything they need via efax or email so that they don't need to stop by the office. Get creative and customize solutions based on the individual client.
3. BE KID-FRIENDLY
Be prepared for kids to be in tow if customers DO have to come to the office to meet. Yes, lots of parents will hand over a device when they need a little one to be entertained so they can have a conversation with another adult, but some won't. It doesn't take much to run to the dollar store to grab some coloring books and crayons, puzzles and a few toys to throw into a bin. You don't have to have Disney World in your waiting room, but a little touch that says YOUR KIDS ARE WELCOME HERE can make a big difference.
4. BE AWARE
Familiarize yourself with the schools in your area. We're not suggesting that you get to know the daily goings-on in each one, but get an overall idea. Are schools doing full remote, or a hybrid of distance learning and in-school learning? Are people opting to take their children out of the district altogether and opting to home school their kids? Are schools allowing sports in your county? This just shows that you're tuned in and that you can relate to the stress and struggle that your customers are facing right now.
In sales, we know it's vital to be able to relate to our clients. With the state of things these days, it should be a no-brainer to get yourself somewhat versed and prepped to help out with the back-to-school drama affecting many of your customers. Everyone needs a lot of things right now, the most important of which is someone who understands where they're coming from and is willing to help.